AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas reported its highest daily increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases Saturday with 8,258, as hospitalizations continued to climb.
Much of Texas began mandating face coverings Friday on the orders of Gov. Greg Abbott. The mask order — which carries a $250 fine — came as Texans entered the Fourth of July weekend. The order is the most dramatic about-face Abbott, a Republican, has made as he retreats from what stood out as one of America’s swiftest reopenings.
Texas health officials on Saturday said the total number of reported cases is now at 191,790. State health officials also reported 33 additional deaths linked to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, bringing the total to 2,608.
The true number of cases is likely much higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest that people can be infected and not feel sick.
Hospitalizations Saturday were at 7,890, an increase of 238 from Friday.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.