5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, Nov. 19

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Here are things to know for Thursday, Nov. 19:

1. Coronavirus cases in Texas are soaring again. But this time Gov. Greg Abbott says no lockdown is coming.

This week, more than 7,400 Texans are hospitalized for COVID-19, and the positivity rate has exceeded 10% for over three weeks.

But the governor’s strategy as the state heads into the holidays is to stay the course, relying on a 2-month-old blueprint to claw back reopenings regionally based on hospitalizations. The mask order remains in place, but last week he ruled out “any more lockdowns,” and tensions are again rising with local officials who want more authority to impose safety restrictions.

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2. Texas Medical Center doctors warn of alarming increase in COVID-19 cases

Top doctors with the Texas Medical Center said there’s an alarming increase of COVID-19 cases in the Houston-area in the last few weeks.

“We’re seeing significant growth of this virus, significant number of more cases, and sadly hospitalizations of our sickest of patients,” said Bill McKeon, President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center.