Iraan, the west Texas town of 1,200, has had a 42% positivity rate with 50 people being infected within a two-week span in August, according to Iraan General Hospital CEO Jason Rybolt, CNN reported.
Rybolt also cited a low number of ICU beds available in Texas, saying that one patient even had to be airlifted to an out-of-state hospital to receive care.
Satellite image of Iraan, Texas, which shut down due to half its citizens becoming infected with COVID-19. (Google Earth)
Texas has experienced a scarcity of ICU beds due to lack of mask-wearing, low vaccination rates, and the highly contagious delta strain of COVID-19.
To save space for patients with COVID-19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requested that hospitals postpone elected surgeries.
The Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District even had to shut down schools after five days of classes because about a quarter of the school’s staff tested positive for coronavirus in addition to 16% of students either being infected or exposed to the virus.
Abbot previously issued an executive order banning city and county mask mandates, which also includes schools, as well as vaccine mandates, Fox 7 reported.
The town is set to reopen on Aug. 30, USA Today reported.