How spike in COVID-19 cases is changing East Texans’ daily habits

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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – As Texas experiences its second spike in COVID-19 cases, it also experienced its largest count of coronavirus cases in a single day since the pandemic began.

Statewide, the count has surpassed 210,000 with more than 7,000 reported across East Texas.

Since March, closures have taken place including restaurants, businesses, and even schools to slow the spread of the virus.

Once officials believed it was under control, phases have taken place to reopen the economy and get people back to work. But due to the most recent spike, Gov. Greg Abbott has slowed the process and even scaled back reopening.

This leads many to question what caused the spike in the first place.

“The increase in cases we see now are the kinds of behaviors are reflected ten days to two weeks ago and so we’re gonna prepare ourselves for a very busy July. I think on the other side of July we’re going to see a much better time,” said John Zerwas, advisor to Gov. Abbott.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC has encouraged the public to wear masks, saying they slow the spread of COVID-19.

As a result of the high number of cases in Texas, Gov. Abbott issued a statewide mask mandate requiring everyone to wear one while in public.

But it hasn’t come without controversy from those in East Texas.

“I think it’s about time he did something, so how rapid the cases have been. We’re getting five, six-thousand new cases a day here in Texas. East Texas especially with how little regards our citizens have with everybody’s health care and safety,” said Joseph Beard, East Texas resident.

Some agree with Gov. Abbott’s ruling, but others believe it is an infrigement on people’s freedom.

“Absolutely not, I think every individual should consider medical advice from professionals they trust but then be free to make their own decisions,” said State Rep. Matt Schaefer.

Despite everything that has happened over the past several months, health officials have suggested the same common principles to keep everyone safe.

  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a mask
  • Stay six feet apart
  • Stay home if you are sick

Another development of the COVID-19 virus is how some people might experience symptoms while others are asymptomatic.

Zerwas says the cause of high case reports is also due to surge testing and backed up labs. In the early days, many sites required individuals to experience symptoms. Now, people are getting tested without having symptoms, causing many to wait in line for hours and several testing sites to close early after they run out.

Zerwas suggest that if you get tested, ask how long will your results take, and if you don’t get them within a few days, the lab is most likely not caught up with state standards and could be backed up.

CDC symtoms of COVID-19

  • Fever of chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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