How Texas Gets To The Next Stage Of Pandemic Response

Though Texas is doing relatively well in terms of new COVID-19 cases, there’s still a long way to go before the state will be able to reopen for business.

By Alexandra HartApril 16, 2020 7:12 am,

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to release details of a plan to reopen the Texas economy. But one pandemic expert says that might be premature.

Dr. Gerald Parker is director of the Pandemic and Biosecurity Policy Program at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He told Texas Standard Thursday that officials and the public should understand the pandemic in terms of stages, all of which we must pass through before reaching a stage of recovery. He suggested we’re not out of the woods yet, but there are signs of improvement.

Pandemics unfold in five stages; we are currently in stage 2 of the coronavirus pandemic. Stage 1 of pandemic response is containment. Next comes mitigation, when social distancing is key to an effective response. That’s where the United States is right now.

“We need to move to phase 3,” Parker said.

Getting past the peak number of COVID-19 cases will be an important indicator that we’re in stage 3. And there are signs that starting to happen. 

“There are some places in the United States where we are seeing decreasing new cases, suggesting we’re on the downslope in some places,” Parker said.

The trend in Texas is better than in some parts of the U.S., at least in terms of the number of cases reported.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How to make sense of the number of COVID-19 cases in Texas

– What needs to happen to facilitate recovery from the pandemic

– How a medical expert would advise officials when it comes to economic consequences of the pandemic


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