Texas: 3,972 new cases, 196 new deaths


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas on Friday reported 3,972 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and 196 new deaths from the illness.

The new coronavirus cases pushed the overall number of cases for the six-month outbreak past 600,000 to at least 601,768 in the state, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported. However, the true number of cases is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The state reported its estimate of active cases fell by more than 2,000 to 104,622, and the confirmed total of COVID-19 patients hospitalized fell by 67 to 4,422. The overall COVID-19 death toll for the Texas outbreak rose to 12,266.

The rolling seven-day average of the rate of positive tests has fallen from 16% a week ago to 12% on Thursday, the most recent rate reported by the state. Gov. Greg Abbott has set a 10% positivity rate as a target, and the World Health Organization has set 5% as the threshold for the end of the pandemic.

However, the rolling seven-day average of tests administered was 40,400 as of Thursday, 2,200 more than the day before but still well below the 63,900 average of Aug. 18.

For most people, the 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.