AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Texas continued to surge on Saturday with the state reporting 5,747 new cases.
A day earlier, Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars again and scaled back restaurant dining as cases climbed to record levels after the state embarked on one of America’s fastest reopenings.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said the new number of cases reported Saturday brought the state’s total to 143,371 confirmed cases. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the COVID-19 virus without feeling sick.
Also Saturday, health officials said 42 more deaths were reported from the virus, bringing the state’s total to 2,366.
Texas is scrambling to contain what is now one of the nation’s biggest hotspots. Abbott has also ordered rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers to close and required outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more to seek approval from local governments.
Abbott began lifting lockdown orders in May and has since accelerated his own timelines on some openings amid protests from conservatives.
Texas reached a record high positive tests of 5,996 on Thursday.
On Friday, Texas surpassed 5,000 hospitalizations for the first time with 5,102 hospitalizations. Health officials said Saturday that the number of people hospitalized was at 5,523.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.