A total of 261 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Greater Houston area May 5, the day Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced new plans to reopen salons and barbershops by the end of the work week.
Six deaths were confirmed, including four deaths in the city of Houston and two deaths in Fort Bend County. Across the Houston area's five largest counties—Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, Montgomery and Brazoria counties—a total of 199 recoveries were confirmed, the second largest single-day increase in recoveries since the pandemic began, according to data from local public health departments.
Known active cases in those five counties increased by 51, led by an increase of 43 active cases in Houston and an increase of 33 active cases in Fort Bend County. Those increases were offset by drops in known active cases in Brazoria, Galveston and Montgomery counties.
The general bed occupancy rate in Harris County continues to hover around 33%, with 5,554 of the 15,334 general beds in use as of May 4, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Occupancy rates are higher in the county's intensive care units, where about 80% of 1,628 beds are occupied. Another 300 ICU beds are available in surge capacity.