Stats Show Texas COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Spiking Each Time Rules Were Relaxed

As Texas recently announced that it was lifting its COVID restrictions effective March 10—a decision met with backlash—the state's coronavirus cases and hospitalizations saw stark increases each time such rules were relaxed, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic during March and early April of 2020, Texas, like many other states in the U.S., was on lockdown with a statewide stay-at-home order.

At that time Texas saw less than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases each day, according to information by the state's department of health. Statewide hospitalizations also never rose above 1,600.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, however, decided to reopen Texas in phases on April 17. Bars, salons, restaurants, and gyms opened again with capacity limits throughout May.

Following the ease in restrictions, Texas's coronavirus hospitalizations spiked from an average of 2,000 to nearly 11,000 from early June to late July. The state also saw between 3,000 and nearly 15,000 new COVID-19 cases each day, peaking on July 17 at nearly 14,916, according to the department.

Abbott then issued a statewide mask mandate on July 2 and weeks later Texas' daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations improved. Much of the state then opened up at 75 percent capacity in September. By October, bars additionally reopened as well.

In late December 2020 and early January 2021, Texas was hit with record highs as the state reported nearly 14,000 hospitalizations on January 14 and a peak of nearly 27,000 new daily COVID-19 cases on December 29.

Covid-19 restriction signs hang outside of Chipotle
A COVID-19 restriction signs is shown above hanging outside of a Chipotle on March 3, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state will end its mask mandate and allow businesses to reopen at one hundred percent capacity on March 10. Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images/Getty Images

"We have seen this several times now," Dr. David Persse of the Houston Health Department told KHOU 11. "Now every time we relax, a wave ensues and with these waves people die, the situation gets worse."

"This virus just keeps taking advantage of every opportunity that we give it and we keep giving it opportunities," Persse added, noting that Texans must wear face masks, social distance, and get the coronavirus vaccine to have "power over our destiny."

On Tuesday, Abbott declared "Texas is open 100 percent" and unveiled a plan to lift the statewide mask mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions.

The news came as Texas' coronavirus vaccine rollout is ranked among the worst in the country. The Lone Star State is 48th in the U.S. based on the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per 100,000 people, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Local Texas law enforcement began to brace themselves for another spike in infections.

"I would challenge the people of Houston to come back and see our numbers probably in the next six weeks," Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo told KHOU 11. "I'll bet anyone that wants to take the bet that our numbers will go up significantly."

"I just pray to God that we don't lose any police officers, any firefighters or any of our friends or neighbors or family members," he added.

Newsweek reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services, but didn't hear back in time for publication.