Photo: Melissa Phillip, Staff Photographer / Houston Chronicle
In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has requested the state's help to effectively "save lives, protect our hospital capacity and support your efforts to reopen the economy by enacting appropriate safety measures."
"Scientists, doctors and modelers at the University of Texas at Austin advise that on our current trajectory, Houston/Harris County could well exceed our COVID-19 hospital capacity by 1500 beds by mid-July," Turner wrote.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Record-breaking days continue in Texas' coronavirus surge
Turner added that the experts have a "small window" to slow the trajectory of the current COVID-19 crisis in Houston
"The more we can change behaviors and interactions, the more time we will have to maintain some measure of open economy while protecting public health."
Turner is requesting that the state of Texas enact these orders, to avoid a "last resort" scenario:
Turner also requested that other measures be put in place to help the most "vulnerable communities":
BEACHES CLOSED: Galveston beaches to close for July 4th weekend amid sharp rise in COVID-19 cases
Turner added that a "last resort" solution would be the return of a stay-at-home order.
"Returning to a stay at home order, excepting essential businesses, should only be a last resort," Turner wrote. "It may well be better received if we can tell people the exact number of days we would be engaging in this practice, followed by the reopening of schools (something that might otherwise be difficult to achieve), so long as we reemerge this time it is done with universal, indefinite and mandatory face masking and social distancing."