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Texas COVID-19 hospitalizations fall slightly, remain high

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Posted at 4:27 PM, Jan 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 17:27:48-05

Coronavirus hospitalizations fell slightly in Texas Saturday but remained near their record high, as health officials said there were about 600 intensive-care beds available across the state of nearly 29 million people.

Texas reported 12,319 COVID-19 patients in hospitals Saturday, ending five consecutive days of record breaking hospitalizations. But even with the decrease of more than 160 patients from Friday, the virus continued to strain medical resources.

Intensive care units in several parts of Texas were full or nearly full, with 626 ICU beds available statewide Saturday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The department reported 96 new fatalities, as well as 3,995 new, confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 487 probable cases. The actual number of cases is believed to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and some who get sick don’t show symptoms.

Over the last seven days, nearly one in five coronavirus tests in Texas has come back positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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 virus can cause severe illness and be fatal.