Texas virus hospitalizations climb past 10,000 as state touts more vaccines on the way
AUSTIN, Texas — The number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus in Texas again climbed past the troubling mark of 10,000 on Monday for the first time since this summer’s deadly peak. The state is also running low on ICU beds.
It comes as Gov. Greg Abbott plans on getting the Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday as more doses of the vaccine are also arriving this week for front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
Abbott has emphasized that hundreds of thousands of vaccines doses are coming to Texas at a time when newly confirmed cases and hospitalizations continue soaring. Texas has not had this many hospitalized Covid-19 patients since July, when there were more than 10,800 patients across the state.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say that over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Texas has remained mostly constant around 15,908 per day. One in every 258 people in Texas tested positive in the past week.
Last Thursday, the state smashed a single-day record for new cases with more than 16,000, which officials partly attributed to holiday gatherings. On Monday, there were 8,107 new cases were reported along with 67 new deaths.
As of Monday, the state reported 1,413,684 total confirmed cases in 254 counties since the pandemic began. Johns Hopkins is also reporting over 25,700 total Covid-19 related deaths in Texas, the second highest in the country overall.
But Abbott has said he will not order a new round of lockdown measures, and on Monday, even announced a new reopening: the Texas Capitol. Abbott said health and safety protocols will be put in place for the Capitol’s reopening next month.
Around the Capitol, health officials say spread of the virus is worsening. On Monday, public health officials in Austin said that new cases were up 86% since the beginning of December.
Meantime, more than 26,000 frontline and other essential workers in Texas as of Monday had received the first vaccinations that began arriving this month, according to state health officials. Abbott has said more than 1 million doses of the vaccine will have been distributed in Texas by the end of the month.
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