HOUSTON — On Sunday, Texas reported 153 more COVID-19 deaths. The state total is now at 5,038. Last Monday, Texas stood at 4,020 deaths, meaning there have been 1,018 deaths reported in the last six days.
"The deaths are rising," infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez said. "Every day we're breaking new records in the Texas metro areas in terms of numbers of deaths."
Hotez said who the virus is killing is even more concerning.
"When there are the daily reports of deaths put out by the City of Houston Health Department, every day you see now, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic," Hotez said.
In Houston, 15 of the 21 people who died over the weekend were Hispanic.
"It's happening among essential workers in low-income neighborhoods, people working construction sites, small businesses, dry cleaners, restaurants, I think they're getting hammered, and I'm worried about it," Hotez said.
But there are some positive signs in the Houston area.
"We're not seeing that vertical rise," Hotez said. "It's sort of plateaued, but it's plateaued at a very high level."
Hotez credits more widespread mask usage and the public taking social distancing more seriously for the plateau, but he warns there's still work to do.
"Even though it's stabilized, if it stabilizes when the thing is going 100 miles per hour, that's small comfort, it's not adequate," Hotez said.
Hotez said as long as the virus continues to spread at its current rate. It will remain unsafe to have children and teachers return to the classroom.
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