Chron.com is following the latest headlines about the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for the Houston area.
11:50: A.G. Paxton issues a statement of mandate to close the school
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday issued instructions to open schools during a pandemic, according to which local health authorities cannot issue detailed orders to close schools in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Friday, Harris County and Houston County health authorities ordered all public and non-religious private counties to postpone their curricula from the first eight weeks of the 2020-21 school year. The order requires that all school sponsorship events not take place in person, and requires districts to submit a written plan outlining health procedures when personal instruction can be safely restored.
In a statement, Paxton said that school officials, not health or city and county officials, should decide for themselves when and how to open their towns, and said that state law “does not allow health authorities to issue quarantine orders. blanket “.
“The education of our children is an important value of Texas, and there is no current national ordinance that prohibits the opening of any school,” Paxton said. “Although local health authorities may have some authority to close schools in limited circumstances, they cannot issue general orders to close all schools on a purely preventive basis. This decision is rightly left to the heads of school systems. “
Read the full statement here.
9:30 a.m.: Latest Houston, Texas numbers
Despite declining numbers in new cases, Texas reported more than 700 new deaths from COVID-19 and now has 5,809 deaths after the Texas Department of Public Health made significant changes to its reports on Monday.
DSHS now uses death certificate data to count deaths from COVID, resulting in some Texas counties having significantly higher rates than others, and some counties having higher numbers than state figures.
Despite the apparent increase in mortality, the state reports a decrease in the number of new cases, and the average – for new cases. From Sunday to Monday, Texas added 4,331 new cases and now has 395,338 new cases, marking the fifth day of a direct reduction in new cases, according to an analysis of the Houston Chronicle. The average for new cases is now 7,414.6, marking the eighth consecutive day with a decrease in the average. The positive test rate in the country as a whole also continues to decline and now stands at 13.22 percent.
In the Houston region, 1,571 new cases have been added and there are currently 94,468 cases. In Harris County, there was an increase of 846 new cases and a total of 6619 cases.
ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: So how bad is COVID-19 in Houston? Data reading guide
Due to the report’s transition to new federal requirements, DSHS is still reporting incomplete COVID-19 hospitalization numbers. Only 82 percent of hospitals reported full information to the school on Sunday, which reduced the number of hospitalizations. With that in mind, the state reported 9,781 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 on Sunday.
NOTE. The figures included in this report represent the change in data for one day from Sunday, July 26 to Monday, July 27. It is still unclear how many new cases in the state can be attributed to the prisons of the Texas Department of Justice Justice. Analysis of the Houston Chronicle data on COVID-19 cases now includes probable and incomplete cases. This change is based on interviews with a number of health officials and epidemiologists, as well as in line with the CDC’s reporting guidelines.