Photo: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer
The United States has officially surpassed 5 million cases of COVID-19, and projections show the increase likely won’t slow down any time soon.
While businesses remain open (with restrictions) and students, faculty and staff prepare for the return to school and work, Texas has recorded 502,147 confirmed virus cases and 8,868 deaths since the pandemic began.
Lone Star State residents should brace themselves— according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, there’s predicted to be a statewide total of 27,435 deaths by Dec. 1. Projections are based on states’ current mandates and masking levels.
SHOWING CARE DURING COVID: Houston-area couple creates pandemic-safe ‘hugging booth’
The state’s existing mask mandate, issued by Gov. Greg Abbott on July 2, requires nearly all Texans to wear face coverings in most public settings.
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a week ago that Houstonians who don’t abide by the order will have to pay a $250 fine.
“Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in the month of August,” Turner tweeted.
🚨 Today, I am announcing that we will begin issuing citations to people who are not wearing mask under the state’s mandatory mask order. @houstonpolice will issue warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public, if they don’t meet the criteriafor an exemption. 🚨
— Houston Mayor’s Office (@houmayor) August 3, 2020
Chron.com reported that Sunday marked the 50th highest day for new cases and the 26th highest for new deaths since the pandemic first began about six months ago.