Coronavirus: Texas Illness Count Grows By 5,707, 28 New Deaths

Tony Cantu

AUSTIN, TX — The number of cases of the coronavirus across Texas rose by 5,707 on Friday, bringing the total number to 137,624. In the same 24-hour span, another 28 people succumbed to illness, bringing the total fatality count to 2,324.

The updated figures are provided on a statistical dashboard maintained by Texas Department of State Health Services officials. Friday's increase in new cases is considerable, but 289 less than the 5,996 reported on Thursday — an all-time high.

According to the dashboard, there have been 76,282 recoveries from the contagious respiratory illness, but there are currently an estimated 59,018 active cases.

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After considerable backlash, state health officials stopped co-mingling antibody and viral tests under the overall testing category — which had the effect of artificially inflating the level of screening for the active virus. The two categories are now separated, showing in the last update as 1,697,334 viral tests and another 177,863 antibody tests.

The data show counties with the highest levels of reported illness:

  • Harris County: 27,017 cases, including 16,126 active cases.
  • Dallas County: 18,538 cases, 5,982 active.
  • Tarrant County: 10,363 cases. 4.860 active.
  • Bexar County: 8,452 cases, 4,682 active.
  • Travis County: 7,097 cases, 1,722 active.
  • El Paso County: 5,217 cases, 1,309 active.
  • Fort Bend County: 3,397 cases, 1,996 active.
  • Potter County: 2,854 cases, 997 active.
  • Hidalgo County: 2,713 cases, 1,586 active.
  • Denton County: 2,494 cases, 1,283 active.
  • Collin County: 2,486 cases, 1,026 active.

In terms of deaths, the following counties have reported the greatest number of fatalities:

  • Harris County: 353.
  • Dallas County: 334.
  • Tarrant County: 218.
  • El Paso County: 126.
  • Travis County: 116.
  • Bexar County: 106.
  • Cameron County: 52.
  • Fort Bend County: 51.
  • Lubbock County: 51.
  • Collin County: 40.
  • Galveston County: 40.
  • Potter County: 39.
  • Denton County: 37.
  • Montgomery County: 36.
  • Jefferson County: 32.
  • Williamson County: 32.
  • Washington County: 31.
  • Harrison County: 30.
  • Hidalgo County: 29.
  • Walker County: 28.

The surge in new cases and related hospitalizations have prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to take drastic measures in stemming the illness tide. On Friday, he ordered the closure of all bars — after having allowed such establishments to reopen with limited capacity — and ordered restaurants to scale back their occupancy to 50 percent from the recently allowable level of 75 percent.

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The day before, he implemented a ban on elective surgeries to save hospital space for a potential surge of coronavirus patients. He also put a temporary pause on further economic recovering, essentially at this point a move to halt businesses to increase their occupancy given the myriad enterprises already allowed reopened per a previous gubernatorial order.

Abbott was the second governor attempting to jump-start his state's coronavirus-stalled economy — one week after his Georgia counterpart launched a similar move — by implementing a multi-phase reopening of myriad businesses that began on May 1. Since then, Texas has seen an ever-growing illness trend that began in earnest after July 1.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch