Despite an upward trajectory of Coronavirus cases, Greg Abbot, governor of Texas, plans to reopen Texas on Friday, May 1, 2020. On a live press conference, on April 27, Governor Abbot announces the positive results of Texas’ response to COVID-19.
COVID-19 in Texas
Greg Abbot, Governor of Texas
“The COVID-19 infection rate has been on the decline over the past 17 days.” Moreover, Gov. Abbot says, “Hospitalization has held steady.” Furthermore, he says, “The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 will soon exceed the number of active cases.”
Texas ready to battle COVID-19
Gov. Abbot also says, “I deployed more than 3,000 Texas National Guard. They will be operating 25 mobile COVID testing sites across Texas, as well as three fixed sites in Houston, Huntsville, and Kingsville.” Furthermore, the National Guard is operating “9 PPE distribution sites.”
Governor Abbot goes on to say the National Guard has deployed a team that manufactures more than 500,000 N-95 masks every day. As of April 27, 2020, they have already made more than 6 million masks. Moreover, they are also helping Texas families. Almost a thousand National Guard prepare and serve meals at food banks across Texas.
Most Importantly, Gov. Abbot says his executive order to stay at home will expire on April 30. Furthermore, Abbot says, “that executive order has done its job to slow the growth of COVID-19.” Texas will reopen May 1.
Texas COVID-19 Coronavirus Cases
The Texas Department of Health reports the number of COVID-19 Coronavirus cases since March 24, 2020, in the chart below.
The COVID-19 chart shows Coronavirus cases increasing in April. Contrary to Governor Abbot, the COVID-19 infection rate has not been “on the decline in the last 17 days.” The facts show COVID-19 cases increasing.
Gov. Abbot says recovered patients will soon exceed active cases. However, actual data show only 12,507 patient recoveries out of 28,087 active cases. Thus, most patients (55%) have not recovered from COVID-19.
Texas Plans to Reopen Despite Rising Coronavirus Cases
As the number of COVID-19 cases in Texas continues to climb, governor Greg Abbot plans Phase one reopening of Texas on May 1. The governor will allow the following Texas businesses to reopen:
- Retail Stores
- Movie Theaters
However, business occupancy is limited to 25 percent in Phase one. In other words, businesses will have space for social distancing. Later in Phase two, this limit will increase to 50 percent. Furthermore, museums and libraries may also open in Phase one. However, interactive areas with “hands-on” exhibits must remain closed.
Moreover, sole practitioners (self-employed business owners) may also return to work in Phase one. It also allows out-door sports with a maximum of four participants and with certain distancing practices—for example, tennis playing singles or doubles; and golf. Phase one will allow all licensed healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, and dentists) to return to work.
Millions of Texans at High-Risk of COVID-19
Texas seniors age 65 and older account for 12.7% of the Texas population at 3.6 million, according to data from the 2020 U.S. Census. Senior Texans with the following underlying medical conditions are at high risk.
- Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- Serious heart condition
- Liver disease
- Severe obesity (body mass index of 40 or higher)
- Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
Texans with a compromised immune system are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you engage in any of the following behavior or have the following medical conditions, you are at high risk:
- Cancer treatment
- Immune deficiencies
- Bone marrow or organ transplantation
- Poorly controlled HIV or AIDS
- Prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
3 Million Texas Smokers at High-Risk for COVID-19
3 Million Texas Smokers at High-Risk for COVID-19
13.6 percent of Texan smokers between the ages of 18 and 44. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, this age group represents 37.9% of Texans or 10.8 million. Thus, 13.6 percent of 10.8 million puts 1.4 million Texans at high-risk for COVID-19.
18.6 percent of Texan smokers between the ages of 45 and 64. The group represents 23.5% of Texans or 6.7 million. Thus, 18.6 percent of 6.7 million puts 1.2 million Texans at high-risk for COVID-19.
8.8 percent of senior Texan smokers are age 65 and older. This group represents 12.7 percent of Texans or 3.6 million. Thus, 8.8 percent of 3.6 million puts 320,771 seniors at high-risk for COVID-19.
In total, 3 million Texas smokers are at high-risk of COVID-19. Texan smoking percentages provided by United Health Foundation with CDC source in 2018.
Medicare Part B Helps Seniors Quit Smoking
Medicare Part B covers up to 8 visits of smoking and tobacco-use cessation counseling visits per year. Seniors who smoke can reduce the risk of severe illness to COVID-19 by quitting. Furthermore, Original Medicare covers all costs, so you pay nothing to quit smoking.
Seniors new to Medicare can apply from the safety of your home. Find out how easy it is to complete a Medicare Part B application.
All smokers can get help to quit smoking by calling 1-800-QuitNow (784-8669).
2.6 Million Texans have diabetes and are High-Risk for COVID-19
The chart below shows Texas diabetes age percentages provided by United Health Foundation with 2018 data from the CDC. Number of Texans with diabetes calculated using the lastest 2020 Texas population of 28,701,845 from the U.S. Census. That’s 28.7 million people in Texas, and 2.6 million Texans in the age groups below have diabetes and are at high risk of severe illness from the Coronavirus.
Only 2.8 percent of Texans between age 18 and 44 have diabetes. This population of Texans is 10.8 million. Thus, 2.8 percent of 10.8 million is 304,583 younger Texans with diabetes.
A much higher percentage, 18.7 percent of Texans have diabetes between ages 45 and 65. This population of Texans is 6.7 million, and this group has the largest number of diabetics at 1.2 million.
Seniors represent the highest percentage of diabetes. A whopping 29.5 percent or 3 out of 10 seniors are diabetic in Texas. Since there are 3.6 million seniors in Texas, 1 million Texan seniors have diabetes.
Medicare Part B covers Diabetes Self-Management Training
Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) teaches you to cope with and manage your diabetes. Original Medicare covers DSMT. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount and Part B deductible of $198 in 2020. However, a Medicare Supplement Plan such as Plan G will pay this 20% coinsurance for you.
The DSMT program includes tips for the following:
- Eating healthy
- Being active
- Monitoring blood sugar
- Taking prescription drugs
- Reducing risks
DSMT covers individual and group training. However, if group sessions are not available due to COVID-19, you may be able to get services from a practitioner, such as Registered Dietitian, through telehealth.
Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe in Texas
Millions of Texans are at high-risk of severe sickness from COVID-19. Get six Coronavirus tips to stay safe.
You can shop and save on Medicare Advantage or Supplement Plans from the safety of your home. Just call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717 or get your quote.
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