Texas works against rising cases

Mayor Dan Pope discussed extensive precautions, such as mask compliance and social distancing protocols, designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
3:48 | 07/14/20

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Transcript for Texas works against rising cases
Yes, get out the vote. In response to the rising new covid-19 cases Texas governor Abbott recently extended his emergency declaration for resources to slow the spread. Here to tell us the latest about how things are in his city, Lubbock, Texas, mayor Dan pope. Texas has seen that big surge in covid-19 cases. Give us a sense of what the numbers are there in the city of Lubbock. We feel like we are slowing the spread. We survey large geographic area out of Lubbock and it's important that our hospitals remain strong. And we've got to find a way to co-exist with coronavirus. It's -- you know, west Texans don't believe we have to shut things down again, but we need to exhibit a lot of common sense in how we take care of ourselves, families and neighbors. Mayor, are you seeing people, your residents, complying with the governor's issue to wear those face masks? That's a good question. I think we get better every day. We do have the ability to find and right now, we're trying to advocate and educate. We gave 120,000 masks last week, we'll be giving away more this week. If someone doesn't have mask we want them to have one. But you know, the science report, the science proves that the mask protects others, the face covering protects others for certain, and that's something that we've got to do and I said -- I said last week, I think there's never a wrong time to do the right thing. And I really believe that that's where we are with face coverings. And mayor, I want to ask you about schools, they're scheduled to reopen in Lubbock, August 17th, what are you feelings about schools reopening there? Kids need to go to school for a lot of reasons -- education certainly, but for their mental and social development. We need parents to be able to work. So they can put food on their tables. So in our case it's not only K through 12, but it's also higher Ed with Texas Tech being a part of our community. So we're working with both. But I do believe that we can safely go back to school. It's going to be different. I think we need to recognize that. This online learning part of our world will continue to grow. And we've got to find a way to embrace that, but I do believe we can safely reopen schools. Finally, I want to ask you about your hospital system, Lubbock hospital surveys a huge area of west Texas and more residents in Lubbock county have been hospitalized from this virus in the first two weeks of July than in all of June, how concerned are you about those rising numbers in your hospitals, are you prepared to handle even more? Our hospitalizations in the last four weeks for covid-19 have grown about eightfold and our icu patients have grown about six times over the same period. We appeared to slow that growth in the last week, but we do serve a huge area. Our secondary trade area is about the size of south Carolina. We serve eastern New Mexico, as well as west Texas, so that's why it's so important that we do this the right way, we socially distance, wear our masks, wash our hands, we know what prevents the spread. It's just a matter of executing. Mayor Dan pope, we certainly appreciate your time today. We know you've got your hands full dealing with so much there. But we certainly appreciate your service as well. Thank you, Amy. There's much more ahead here

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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