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Texas Reaches 25,000 COVID-19 Deaths As Hospitals Hit Capacity Statewide

UT Health RGV officials administer COVID-19 tests.
Dominic Anthony Walsh | Texas Public Radio
UT Health RGV officials administer COVID-19 tests.

Texas has reached a grim milestone — 25,000 deaths from COVID-19. Cases are still surging and hospitalizations are rising.

Nearly 10,000 people are hospitalized, an increase of more than 600 from last week. Of the state’s approximately 7,800 staffed intensive care beds, only 728 are open as of Saturday, according to state data. More than 100 intensive care units are at or over capacity. Across the state, COVID-19 admissions occupy 14.5% of total hospital beds.

There have been more than 11,000 new confirmed cases every day on average since the first week of the month. Texas makes up just under 9% of the nation’s total cases, and Harris County leads in cases with more than 215,700 total.

Gov. Greg Abbott has emphasized the gradual rollout of vaccines and the development of new treatments for COVID-19, but he said there will be no statewide business closures. Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued local governments that try to implement their own.

Per state orders, regions where the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is lower than 15% may opt in to allowing businesses to reopen. Regions above that percentage for more than a week are disqualified from opting in. Several regions report this level of COVID-19 occupancy, including El Paso, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth and Laredo.

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Dominic Anthony Walsh can be reached at Dominic@TPR.org and on Twitter at @_DominicAnthony
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