New coronavirus infections in North Texas and in Kaufman County show no signs of abating as Texas continues to loosen economic restrictions.
Total Kaufman County cases stood at 315 on June 11, with 61 active. Terrell recorded its first death. On June 4, confirmed cases in the county stood at 220, with 22 active, according to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The uptick in cases here and across the state come as Gov. Greg Abbott last week announced phase III of the state’s economic reopening.
On Wednesday, people hospitalized in Texas with COVID-19 hit an all-time high for the third straight day, according to DSHS figures. As of Wednesday, 2,153 people were being treated in hospitals.
Abbott told Lubbock television station KCBD that he was not concerned or alarmed about the growing numbers.
“There are patients in the hospital, but we have an abundant hospital capacity supply. As a result, Texas will never be in a situation like what New York and New Jersey were in,” Abbott told the television station.
Since the state began tracking infections in March, more than 79,000 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the DSHS. Roughly a third of those people are currently sick. Nearly 1,900 people in Texas have died.
Despite some good economic news last week when nationwide unemployment figures showed improvement, the pandemic continues to drag on the state and local economy.
June’s sales tax figures, which reflect sales in April, showed Terrell receiving $960,629, which is 5.55 percent lower than June 2019. Still, the city’s year-to-date figures are up 10.39 percent over the same period last year.
Unemployment claims in Kaufman County continue to be significantly higher than last year, though they have moderated from extreme highs in late March and April, according to Texas Workforce Commission data. Unemployment claims in Kaufman County for May 16 and May 23 stood at 464 and 431, respectively. Last year’s numbers for the same weeks were 63 and 91.
According to a survey of 4,000 Americans conducted by Apartment List, 30 percent of the respondents failed to make their full June housing payment on time.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve this week said it expects to leave interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future.
The Fed was expecting nationwide unemployment to be about 9.3 percent by the end of the year, and it expected the jobless rate to stay elevated for years. Output is expected to be 6.5 percent lower at the end of this year than it was in the final quarter of 2019.