Texas reported more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, a record-breaking daily surge as the state responds to a growing outbreak and rising hospitalizations.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission reported 10,028 new cases, which surpasses the state’s previous record of nearly 8,260 cases set on July 4. It’s the first time since the beginning of the outbreak that the state has reported more than 10,000 additional new cases in a single day.
There were 9,268 people in the state’s hospitals with Covid-19 as of Tuesday, another daily record, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Public health officials keep a close watch on hospitalizations because it can indicate how severe an outbreak is in an area. It’s considered a better measure than new cases because it’s not as reliant on the availability of testing.
The state has also reported a jump in the percentage of total positive tests since mid-June, now hovering around 13.5% on average as of Monday. The so-called positivity rate indicates how bad an outbreak is in a region. At the height of New York’s outbreak, more than 40% of all Covid-19 tests were coming back positive. It’s currently around 1%, according to the New York state health department.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has previously noted that a positivity rate above 10% would be a “warning flag” for the state.
The outbreak in Texas now rivals the peak in New York in early April when the Empire state was reporting an average of more than 10,000 new cases a day.
Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said that the state reported “fairly low new case numbers Sunday and Monday following the holiday” and Tuesday’s new case number could reflect the backlog of data.
Texas is one of 36 states where cases grew by 5% or more Monday, based on a seven-day average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The state has reported an average of 6,990 new cases based on a seven-day moving average, a near 26% surge from the previous week.