Texas Coronavirus Cases Surpass 86K; Deaths At 1,939

Megan VerHelst

AUSTIN, TX — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Texas continues to climb as the state Department of Health and Human Services reported an additional 2,331 confirmed cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in Texas to 86,011.

The state also reported 18 new deaths related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. To date, 1,939 Texans have died from coronavirus-related illnesses.

Coronavirus-related illnesses in Texas are reported on a dashboard that is updated daily.

According to the dashboard, 1,442,950 total tests have been administered in the state. Health officials also report the number of antibody tests given — tests that detect those who were previously been infected but have since recovered. On Saturday, the number of antibody tests taken was 144,050.

The 10 counties with highest rates of illness as of Saturday were:

  • Harris County: 16,188 cases
  • Dallas County: 13,585 cases
  • Tarrant County: 7,120 cases
  • Travis County: 4,314 cases
  • Bexar County: 4,012 cases
  • El Paso County: 3,794 cases
  • Potter County: 2,785 cases
  • Fort Bend County: 2,358 cases
  • Walker County: 1,870 cases
  • Denton County: 1,687 cases

Despite the uptick in illness, few U.S. states are rebooting faster than Texas, the Associated Press reported, where hospitalizations surged past 2,100 Wednesday for the first time during the pandemic and remained there the rest of the week.

That's a 42 percent increase in patients since Memorial Day weekend, when restless beachgoers swarmed Texas' coastline and a water park near Houston opened to big crowds in defiance of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's orders.

Texas' percentage of tests coming back positive has also jumped to levels that are among the nation's highest. State officials point to hot spots at meatpacking plants and prisons in rural counties, where thousands of new cases have cropped up, but have not offered explanations for a rise in numbers elsewhere.

Abbott, who has recently begun wearing a mask in public, has shown no intention of pumping the brake on reopening a state where conservative protesters in May pressured him to speed up the timeline on getting hair salons back in business.

On Friday, Texas lifted even more restrictions and let restaurant dining rooms reopen at nearly full capacity.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch