Despite caseload decrease, Texas coronavirus still spreads

2 months 5 days 7 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 August 14, 2020 6:38 PM August 14, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Despite a slow but steady shrinkage in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported by Texas health officials, the virus is still spreading geographically.

A Sterling County resident was reported Thursday as testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, making the sparsely populated West Texas county near San Angelo the 251st of the state’s 254 counties to have a confirmed coronavirus case, according to the Department of State Health Services.

The DSHS reported 7,018 new confirmed cases Friday, bringing the total to at least 520,593 since the state began tracking cases in early March. Even so, the true number of Texas cases is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 deaths have been reported in 211 counties. With 313 fatalities reported Friday, a figure state health officials say is subject to change as the state’s overall COVID-19 death toll is approaching 10,000 with 9,602 fatalities tallied by the state.

An estimated 127,274 confirmed cases were still active Friday, a tally that excludes COVID-19 deaths and recoveries. Of those active cases, 6,632 required hospitalization, 247 fewer than Thursday and continuing a downward trend that began with a peak of 10,893 reported July 22.

A rolling seven-day positive test rate of 16.06% reported Thursday was a dramatic decrease from a peak of 24.5% reported Tuesday. However, the positive test rate remained well above the state's target positivity rate of 10% and the 5% threshold set by the World Health Organization.

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