DATA: Record 324 new COVID-19 deaths reported in Texas Wednesday; total death toll tops 9,000

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN is keeping track of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by aggregating data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and local and county health departments. Click here for data specific to Central Texas.

How many cases are there in Texas?

The state’s first case of COVID-19 was reported March 4 in Fort Bend County. As of August 12, Texas has officially reported 506,820 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

How many people have been tested?

Texas is currently administering two types of test: viral/PCR and antibody tests. Viral/PCR tests determine whether someone currently has COVID-19. Antibody tests determine whether someone was previously infected. On May 13, the state started reporting the number of each tests separately. Prior to that, the test types were combined and reported as one number. Due to a “technical problem with electronic lab reports,” test data for May 23 and 24 are not available.

DSHS reports test results a day late. As of August 11, 4,106,360 molecular tests have been reported by the state. A total of 12.19 percent of all tests have come back positive. That means 87.81 percent of tests have been negative. The state’s seven-day average positive rate is 24.50 percent.

Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data
Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

In addition, 16,409 antigen test results have been reported. Of those, 2,536 tests came back positive, giving an overall positive rate of 15.45 percent. Positive antigen tests are considered “probable” cases and not included in the state’s confirmed case total.

Texas has also reported 299,037 antibody test results have been reported. A total of 20,241 of those tests came back positive. That’s a positive rate of 6.77 percent.

How has the number of cases changed over time?

KXAN is keeping track of the daily increase in COVID-19 cases across Texas. The highest daily jump occurred on July 15, when 10,791 new cases were added to the state’s total. The largest increase in deaths in a single day occurred on August 12, when 324 new deaths were reported.

On June 16, DSHS reported an additional 1,476 cases and seven deaths that had previously gone unreported. These cases were among TDCJ prison inmates in Anderson and Brazoria County.

On July 15, DSHS announced that the San Antonio Metro Health District had been reporting probable cases in its total for Bexar County, rather than just confirmed cases. As a result, 3,484 probable cases were removed from the county and state total.

On July 17, DSHS announced around 4,662 previously-uncounted cases in Bexar County. According to San Antonio Metro Health, the cases had not been reported as “the result of a backlog in the reporting process.” In a press release, the local health department said, “All of the patients who tested positive were notified by the lab within three or four days, so this backlog did not affect patients learning their test results.”

On July 25, DSHS announced that the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District had been reporting probable cases in its total. As a result, 2,092 probable cases were removed from the county and state total.

On August 3, DSHS removed 471 cases from Bexar County’s total. Those had been duplicate cases reported by San Antonio Metro Health.

On August 11, DSHS announced 890 previously-uncounted cases in Nueces County. According to the state, these cases stemmed “from a laboratory reporting backlog.”

Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data
Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

How many people are in the hospital?

DSHS reports 7,028 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized across the state. As of August 12, 5.39 percent of active cases currently require hospitalization.

Between July 23 and July 28, DSHS reported incomplete hospitalization data “due to a transition in reporting to comply with new federal requirements.” Because of this transition, not every hospital was able to provide complete data to the state, resulting in a partial data set:

  • On July 23, 84.5 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 24, 90 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 25, 89 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 26, 85 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 27, 82 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 28, 91 percent of hospitals reported complete data

The percent of hospitals reporting data returned to normal levels on July 29.

Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data
Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

How many people have recovered?

DSHS is estimating that 367,354 patients have recovered from COVID-19 across the state, as of August 12. The number is an estimate based on assumptions related to hospitalization rates and recovery times, according to the state. Based on this, KXAN estimates 130,432 cases are still active.

Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data
Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

Where have cases been reported?

Reported Cases per County

Hover or tap the counties below to see the known patient count. Mobile users can zoom in and move the map using two-finger touch.

Harris County has the most cases of COVID-19, with 87,505. When adjusted for population though, other counties rise to the top, notably Moore, La Salle, Madison, Crockett and Anderson Counties. The map below shows the rate of cases per 1,000 people, using July 2019 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Reported Cases per 1,000 People

Hover or tap the counties below to see the known number of COVID-19 cases per 1,000 for each county. Mobile users can zoom in and move the map using two-finger touch.

How many people have died?

The state’s first COVID-19-related death was reported March 16 in Matagorda County. As of August 12, the state has officially reported 9,034 deaths. Harris County has the most deaths related to COVID-19, with 1,679.

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On July 27, DSHS changed the way it reports COVID-19 deaths, resulting in a surge in the death toll. The state previously counted COVID-19 fatalities after local health departments verified the deaths. Now, the state is identifying COVID-19 deaths using the cause of death listed on death certificates.

DSHS says this new method “allows fatalities to be counted faster with more comprehensive demographic data.” The state says it is only counting deaths in which “COVID-19 directly caused the death,” as determined by the medical certifier, usually a doctor with direct knowledge of the patient. The total number of deaths does not include people who had COVID-19 but died from an unrelated cause.

Because of this change, 675 new deaths were added to the state’s total on July 27. Only 44 of those were new deaths that had been reported that day.

On July 30, DSHS reported that during the shift to using death certificate data to count COVID-19 deaths, an “automation error” caused 225 deaths to be included that were not directly caused by COVID-19. A manual quality check of data revealed the issue late on July 29. Those deaths have since been removed from the state’s total.

Reported Deaths in Texas

Hover or tap the counties below to see the known number of deaths related to COVID-19. Mobile users can zoom in and move the map using two-finger touch.

Editor’s Note: KXAN previously provided a count of cases and deaths, as reported by local and county health departments. As of August 6, KXAN is no longer providing that count, and is instead solely reporting data provided by DSHS.

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