AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas continues to increase, as more doses of the vaccine are expected this week for front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Sunday that 9,856 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized across the state. This month Texas surpassed 9,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients for the first time since a deadly summer outbreak.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say that over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Texas has remained mostly constant around 15,908 per day. One in every 258 people in Texas tested positive in the past week.
Johns Hopkins is reporting over 25,700 COVID-19 related deaths in Texas, the second highest in the country overall.
State health officials said Friday that Texas will receive 620,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines over the next week. More than 224,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been delivered in Texas.
Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said much of the vaccine the state was expected to receive in the coming week would be the one developed by Moderna Inc., which was given approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday.
He said the Moderna vaccine will help get doses to rural areas and smaller providers because it ships in smaller quantities and can be stored longer at regular refrigerator temperatures.
Gov. Greg Abbott has said he expects more than 1 million Texas residents will be vaccinated by the end of the month.
The true number of infections in Texas is likely higher because many haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
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 symptoms and be fatal.
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