AUSTIN, TX — The number of new cases of the coronavirus grew by 5,747 over the past 24 hours, and 42 more people died from respiratory illness during the same time period.
The updated data are found on a statistical dashboard maintained by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The historical count of positive coronavirus cases across Texas is now 143,371, according to the dashboard.
To date, an estimated 2,366 across Texas have died of coronavirus — a highly contagious ailment for which there is no vaccine. As of Saturday, there are 62,757 active cases of the illness in Texas, although 78,248 patients have recovered.
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According to the state health officials, the counties with the greatest levels of illness concentration to date are:
- Harris County: 28,255 cases.
- Dallas County: 19,043 cases.
- Tarrant County: 10,706 cases.
- Bexar County: 8,857 cases.
- Travis County: 7,097 cases.
- El Paso County: 5,330 cases.
The spike comes amid several days of record-setting levels of new cases reported in Texas. In attempts to stem the tide of rising illness, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday ordered all bars to close again along with rafting and tubing operations. Previously, Abbott gave mayors and county judges across the state greater leeway in enforcing crowd sizes, leading Travis County and others to ban outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
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Abbott was the second governor in the nation to launch a state economy reopening — a week after his counterpart in Georgia who sparked a similar move — that began on May 1. Since then, Texas has seen exponential increases in coronavirus, particularly since June 1.
On Thursday, Abbott paused his ongoing reopening of the economy amid rising illness rates, a move that amounted to delaying the time when businesses are able to increase their occupancy levels given the myriad enterprises already reopened under his previous orders. And, for the second time since the onset of coronavirus, Abbott banned all elective surgeries at hospitals to accommodate a potential influx of new coronavirus patients.
This is a developing story.