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'It’s a very frightening chart' | New COVID data paints Harris County in troubling light

A new model from the PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia projects Harris County will see more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases a day by June.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott lifted any travel restrictions into the state, the latest way to say Texas is back open. However, as life gets back to normal for many, new data paints Harris County in a troubling light.

A model developed by ­PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia projects that Harris County could go from roughly 200 new COVID-19 cases a day to more than 2,000 by June.

The projection used information from a company called Unacast which used cellphone data to track how well people are social distancing.

“It’s a very frightening chart,” said Dr. Christopher Amos, a professor and genetic epidemiologist at Baylor College of Medicine. “I agree with anxiety that it will provoke.”

The projection is one Amos says we should pay attention to.

“It is possible. If people suddenly went back to the way we were behaving in February or early March, we would see what they’re showing.”

However, Amos cautions the chart doesn’t consider factors like hygiene, people wearing masks or avoiding large gatherings; all practices he says Houstonians should still be doing.

That’s the same kind of guidance that Harris County leaders reiterated Thursday as they discussed safely returning to work.

RELATED: Houston pools, splash pads will be closed until further notice due to COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: New data show Harris County isn't social distancing properly

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