Coronavirus continued to put Texans in hospitals, but the pace of hospitalizations has slowed in recent days. One of those who wasn't hospitalized was Gov. Greg Abbott.
The Texas governor announced on Twitter that he was now negative for the virus after testing positive on Tuesday. He credited the quick recovery to being vaccinated.
On Friday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 12,900 people were hospitalized — about 30% of those in intensive care unit beds. After growing daily by about 6-7% for much of the last 45 days, the number of hospitalized growth has slowed to less than 1%. Texas, however, could still surpass the peak of more than 14,000 hospitalized with COVID-19 in January.
DSHS reported there are 98 available intensive care unit beds in its 22-county San Antonio area. On Friday, Peterson Regional Medical Center said COVID-19 had left 30 people hospitalized.
However, it was the alarming numbers in the schools that have drawn the most attention. Kerrville Independent School District reported 67 students and staff had tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday, Tivy High School Principal Shelby Balser said five students had tested positive. KISD said there were 17 positive cases at Tivy.
Fredericksburg Independent School District reported 29 positive cases of students and staff, including 21 at Fredericksburg High School.
The continuing battle over masks hit a snag for Abbott when the Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked his ban on mask mandates in schools.
While school districts in the Hill Country will unlikely institute mask policies, the issue is front and center in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston, where mask mandates are being instituted.