Despite Increased Hospitalizations And A Shortage Of Contact Tracers, Texas Reopening Continues As Planned

This week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune

By Rhonda Fanning & Laura RiceJune 5, 2020 1:13 pm,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Alex Samuels political reporter for The Texas Tribune.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s phased reopening of Texas businesses is continuing, despite a lag in the number of contact tracers the government intended to hire.

“The state has fallen more than 25% short of its goal for contact tracers,” Samuels said. “One of the governor’s reopening metrics for June 1 called for up to 4,000 Texas contact tracers.”

Officials said this week that some 2,900 tracers are currently working in Texas.

Businesses can now operate at 50% capacity; restaurants can now increase maximum table size to 10 people. On June 12, restaurants can move from 50% capacity to 75%.

Hospitalizations of people infected with COVID-19 have also continued to rise.

In election news, the Republican Party is looking for a new place to hold its national convention in August after disagreements between the Republican National Committee and North Carolina’s Democratic governor. The party has put Texas in the running, Samuels said.

“Dallas is among several cities that RNC officials are considering as they look to replace Charlotte, North Carolina,” Samuels said.

Four local GOP officials in Texas are under scrutiny for social media comments many interpreted as racist. Samuels said Abbott is among those condemning the words of party leaders in Bexar, Nueces, Harris and Comal Counties about the death of George Floyd, and the related, ongoing protests.

Abbott has called for the resignations of the Bexar and Nueces Counties’ GOP chairs.

Web story by Shelly Brisbin.


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