People ride past murals painted on boards covering bar windows on 6th Street on May 20, 2020 in Austin, Texas.
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Texas health authorities said there are currently 2,153 patients sickened with Covid-19 across its hospitals, marking the third-straight day Wednesday of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations in the state.
The steady rise in coronavirus hospitalizations in Texas will likely add to scrutiny from some U.S. lawmakers and infectious disease experts that some states opened businesses too early as the virus continues to spread throughout parts of the country.
Texas was among the first states to relax its statewide stay-at-home order, allowing it to expire April 30 and some businesses to resume operations May 1. On June 3, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order to announce the third phase of the state’s plan to open additional businesses and activities.
Coronavirus hospitalizations, like new cases and deaths, are considered a key measure of the outbreak because it helps scientists gauge how severe it may be. Research shows that it can take anywhere from five to 12 days for people to show symptoms from the virus.
Public health specialists warn that a slow burn of infection through the summer could lead to a massive resurgence this fall.
Last week, House Democrats grilled CDC Director Robert Redfield, who is a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, on the White House’s push for states to reopen after shuttering businesses and canceling large events as part of social distancing measures meant to curb the spread of the virus.
All 50 states have begun easing quarantine restrictions even though Redfield said “not all states” have met the White House criteria for reopening businesses.