Chron.com keeps track of the latest headlines about the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath in the Houston area.
11:50 a.m .: AG Paxton announces the closure of the mandate
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday issued guidelines for school renewal during the pandemic, saying local health authorities could not issue strong orders to close schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Harris County and Houston County Health Services on Friday ordered all public and non-religious private county schools to postpone tuition in person during the first eight weeks of the 2020-21 school year. The ordinance requires that all school-sponsored events not be held in person, and requires districts to provide a written plan outlining health care procedures when personal instruction can be safely resumed.
Paxton said in a statement that schools, not health or city and county officials, should decide when and how to open their campuses, and said state laws “do not allow health care facilities to issue quilt quarantine orders.”
“Educating our children is a core value of Texas, so there is no state policy in place that prohibits the opening of any school,” Paxton said. “While local health authorities may have some power to close schools in limited circumstances, they may not issue general instructions that all schools be closed on a purely preventive basis. This decision is legitimately left to school system leaders. “
Read the full statement here.
9:30 a.m .: Latest Houston, Texas numbers
Despite the declining number of new cases, Texas has reported more than 700 deaths from COVID-19 and now has a total of 5,809 deaths, following a significant change in data from the Texas Department of Public Health on Monday.
The DSHS now uses death certificate data to calculate COVID deaths, making some Texas counties significantly larger than others and some counties larger than states.
Despite the apparent increase in the number of deaths, the state reports that new cases are declining and new cases are moving averages. According to an analysis of data from the Houston Chronicle, Texas added 4,331 new cases from Sunday to Monday and now has 395,338 new cases. This shows the fifth straight day of decline in new cases. The moving average of new cases is now 7,414.6, marking the eighth consecutive day that the moving average has declined. The positive test rate also continues to decline and now stands at 13.22 percent.
1,571 new cases have occurred in the Houston area and there are currently a total of 94,438 cases. There were an increase of 846 new cases in Harris County and a total of 66,195 cases.
HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: So how bad is the COVID-19 in Houston? Data Reading Guide
Due to the transition to reporting to comply with the new federal requirements, the DSHS is still reporting incomplete COVID-19 hospital numbers. Only 82 percent of hospitals submitted detailed data to the DSHS on Sunday, leading to a reduction in the number of hospitalizations. In light of this, the state reported that 9681 patients were admitted to COVID-19 on Sunday.
NOTE: The figures included in this report show the change in one-day data from 26 July. Sunday through Monday, July 27th. It is still unclear how many new state cases can be attributed to inmates from the Texas Criminal Department. Justice. The analysis of data from the Houston Chronicle COVID-19 cases now includes pending and pending cases. This amendment is based on interviews with several public health officials and epidemiologists, also in line with the CDC guidelines on reporting.