July 19 (UPI) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday announced the U.S. Navy has been deployed to assist in combatting COVID-19 as the state has reported more than 10,000 cases for five consecutive days.
Abbott said the U.S. Department of Defense has sent five U.S. Navy teams, consisting of medical and support professionals, to support hospitals in Harlingen, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Rio Grande City.
“The support from our federal partners is crucial in our work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities throughout Texas,” Abbott said. “I am grateful for this ongoing partnership with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy and the State of Texas will continue to utilize every resource available to protect public health and keep Texans in every community safe.”
Texas reported 10,158 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 317,730 as of Saturday — fourth-most in the nation. The state has reported more than 10,000 new cases every day since July 14 when it tallied 10,745 new cases.
Texas also reported 130 new deaths on Saturday — down from a record 174 the day before — for the 10th highest death toll in the nation at 3,865.
The United States leads the world with a total of 3,739,726 cases and 140,294 deaths, according to figures by John’s Hopkins University.
Florida, which has become the latest epicenter for the virus, reported 12,478 new positive cases — the fifth day in a row more than 10,000 — and 89 deaths over the past 24 hours Sunday, including 2 nonresidents. Florida has the third-most cases in the nation with 345,612 and the eighth-highest death toll at 4,982 and an additional 109 nonresidents.
In Miami-Dade County 212 new COVID-19 patients were hospitalized on Saturday, with 30 percent total bed capacity but 122.2 percent of ICU capacity.
U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., told ABC News’ This Week that a lapse in leadership from President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis led the state to reopen before it was ready.
“It’s terrible. We have community spread which means the virus is out of control. The lack of leadership in the White House and in our governor’s office, they simply have not hit this with a hammer, which is what we needed to do, and starve the virus,” she said. “They opened too soon. And they misunderstand what you need to do, or they understand it and they’re not willing to do it.”
New York, which still leads the nation in total cases with 406,807 and death toll at 25,048 since the start of the pandemic, reported 502 new cases and 13 new deaths within the past 24 hours Sunday.
As of Saturday, California had reported the third-most cases in the nation with 375,363, including 9,199 new cases. The state also has the fifth-highest death toll at 7,595, with 120 new deaths reported on Saturday.
Cases and deaths have continued to surge in parts of the nation as Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Kentucky reported new single-day case records on Saturday, while more than 20 states have reported higher seven-day averages than they did at the end of June, The Washington Post Reported.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told NBC News’ Meet the Press that many more counties in the state may be placed under a mandate requiring the use of masks and other face coverings in public amid concern of a potential surge as the state has reported a total of 74,932 cases and 3,174 deaths.
“We are at a crucial stage. We are at the point where we could become Florida,” he said. “You know, you look at our numbers today versus where Florida was a month ago, we have very similar numbers. So we’re very, very concerned.”