5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, July 21

FILE - In this June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Texas Democrats are starting a second week of holing up in Washington to block new voting laws back home. A reality is fast creeping in: the difficulty of sustaining attention and pressure on Congress with 17 days still left to run out the clock on a sweeping elections bill in Texas, which Abbott says he will keep reviving for as long as it takes. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Here are things to know for Wednesday, July 21:

1. Despite rise in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Greg Abbott says he will not issue another mask mandate in Texas

During a live interview on KPRC 2 News at 5, Gov. Greg Abbott said despite the rise in COVID-19 cases in the US, he will not impose another mask mandate.

Abbott said instead, he’s working with local officials to ensure that everyone has the supplies they need to get the vaccine if they want it.

“The medical component, as we all know, is that one of the things that dramatically reduces, if not eliminates, the possibility of getting COVID or even getting the Delta variant of COVID is getting a vaccine,” Abbott said.

The governor said his reason behind not issuing another mask mandate is due to people having “immunity to COVID through the vaccination or through their own exposure and recovery from it.”

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2. ‘The beginning of a fourth wave’: Texas Medical Center discusses latest COVID-19 data trends, Delta variant impact

Texas Medical Center hosted a brief discussion about the latest COVID-19 trends, breakthrough cases and the impact of the Delta variant in the Houston area.

TMC invited Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, President and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Paul Klotman, and president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center Bill McKeon to join the discussion.

McKeon said that hospitalization rates in the Texas Medical Center are up 90% and the positivity rate is climbing.

“We are clearly seeing the beginning of a fourth wave of this pandemic, which is alarming at best,” he said.

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3. Memorial Hermann changes visitation policy due to increasing number of COVID-19 cases

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, Memorial Hermann said it’s modifying its visitor policy starting on Wednesday, July 21.

Memorial Hermann said the following changes will be made to its visitation policy:

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4. Tokyo 2020 chief says he can’t rule out last-minute cancellation of Olympic games if COVID-19 numbers continue to rise

There are three days to go until the official start of the Olympics, and Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto is not ruling out a last-minute cancellation of the games amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

On Tuesday, Tokyo reported 1,387 coronavirus cases, marking it the city’s second highly daily uptick since mid-January, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s website.

At a news conference, Muto said he would keep an eye on infection numbers and liaise with other organizers if need be.

The comments were made as more athletes and officials connected to the games tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan.

According to Olympic organizers, there have been 67 cases of COVID-19 infections among those accredited for the Tokyo Games since July 1.

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5. Texas native Cody Johnson to perform at 2022 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced Tuesday that Texas native Cody Johnson will kick off the rodeo’s 90th-anniversary celebration with a performance on Feb. 28.

“Cody Johnson has established an enthusiastic following among our RODEOHOUSTON fans since his first performance in 2017,” said Rodeo President and CEO Chris Boleman. “We can’t wait to welcome Cody back to RODEOHOUSTON to help kick off our 90th anniversary celebration.”

Tickets will go on sale on July 29 at 10 a.m. through AXS Ticketing via rodeohouston.com.

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