On the day Gov. Greg Abbott announced plans to reopen a variety of different business types in Texas—including malls, movie theaters and restaurants—the number of new coronavirus cases in the Houston area continued to grow at a rate faster than recoveries.
In the Houston's area five most populous counties where the majority of testing is being done—Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria and Galveston—a total of 144 new cases were confirmed April 27 as another 119 recoveries were reported, resulting in an increase of 16 in overall active cases.
Elsewhere, Liberty County confirmed another new case, while case totals in Austin, Waller and Chambers counties all held flat.
However, the growth rate in active cases appears to be flattening. In the week prior to April 27, active cases had been increasing by an average of 75 per day.
The Houston Health Department confirmed the most new cases April 27—74—bringing the total confirmed cases to 3,358. Meanwhile, Fort Bend County Health & Human Services confirmed five new cases, and the Galveston County Health District confirmed two new cases, both lower than typical daily totals.
Public health officials in the past have warned against reading too much into one day's update, saying they can be affected by backlogs in testing results.
Another nine deaths were confirmed April 27, bringing the total in the Greater Houston area to 157.