AUSTIN, TX — Texas health officials on Wednesday reported 10,791 additional cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours along in what turned out to be the deadliest day on record, with 110 new deaths.
The grim data are found on a Texas Department of State Health Services statistical dashboard that is updated daily. Health officials also reported the positivity rate now stands at 16.81 percent. The triple-digit death count on Wednesday brings the historical fatality count to 3,432, with the rolling seven-day average now 88 deaths per day.
State health officials also reported 10,471 hospitalizations due to the respiratory illness for which no vaccine exists. The total marks the sixth straight day Texas recorded 10,000-plus patients being treated in hospitals across Texas. The number of hospitalizations on Tuesday was 10,569.
According to the dashboard, the counties with the highest concentrations of illness are:
Harris: 49,027 cases.
Dallas: 35,914 cases.
Tarrant: 19,014 cases.
Bexar: 17,458 cases.
Travis: 15,998 cases.
El Paso: 10,298 cases.
Hidalgo: 8,197 cases.
Nueces: 7,032 cases.
Galveston: 6,307 cases.
Fort Bend: 5,211 cases.
Collin: 4,800 cases.
Cameron: 4,590 cases.
Denton: 4,316 cases.
Williamson: 4,153 cases.
The state has seen an exponential rise in coronavirus cases since Abbott launched an aggressive economic reopening on May 1, becoming the second governor in the nation after Georgia to try restarting a pandemic-stalled economy as other states waited for illness trends to flatten. In announcing the reopening in late April, Abbott assured the multi-phase initiative was being informed by insight offered by "doctors and data," as he often put it during news conferences.
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Abbott has taken several steps recently as he now tries to stem the growing tide of illness. Among those measures was his reordering bars to close up again. For the second time since the onset of illness, he also banned all elective surgeries and medical procedures to ensure hospital space for an anticipated influx of coronavirus patients. Abbott also paused his own economic expansion, which amounted not to more closures but a halt in allowing already-opened businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity.
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In a dramatic development, Abbott also recently mandated the wearing of protective face coverings across the state to help blunt the spread of illness — a departure for him after initially extolling the virtues of "personal responsibility" in making mask usage optional. Still, he issued an executive order waiving the requirement for those attending worship services he deemed "essential services" not subject to the most rigid safeguards in protecting constitutional religious rights, Abbott has suggested in the past.
#COVID19TX update: https://t.co/bGhz1bN7zRTexas reports 10,791 new cases and 110 new fatalities, both are new highs for Texas. Together for a #HealthyTexas: #MaskUpTexasStay home when you canStay 6ft apart in publicWash hands often pic.twitter.com/b67HzYGO7J
— Texas DSHS (@TexasDSHS) July 15, 2020