TEXAS 一 It’s the latest startling sign that things have drastically worsened in Texas in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time since February of this year, Texas on Wednesday reported more than 10,000 new cases of the virus in a single day.
The Texas Department of State Health Services Wednesday reported 10,086 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, 2,811 new probable cases and 59 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
In addition to that, 5,292 Texans are now hospitalized with the virus, more than doubling hospitalizations totals from recent weeks.
Dallas County alone reported 989 new cases of the virus on Wednesday.
To the south, Travis County is currently reporting 2,151 active cases of the disease. There are currently 314 people hospitalized for COVID in the county and the region is teetering on Stage 5 of risk-based guidelines established by the local health department.
San Antonio-Bexar County is currently reporting a 7-day average of 589 new cases per day. A total of 585 people are hospitalized there, 76 of whom are on ventilators.
To the west, El Paso is currently reporting 886 active cases of COVID-19. The region on Wednesday added 119 new cases and 73 people are hospitalized with the virus there, 26 of whom are in ICUs.
Researchers with Johns Hopkins University put Texas’ current testing positivity rate at 11.51% and the total number of deaths attributed to the virus at 53,149.
The dramatic uptick in cases and hospitalizations is being attributed to the proliferation of the highly contagious delta variant. According to health experts, variants such as delta are emerging unchecked due to large pockets of undervaccinated people. Georgetown University researchers recently identified five clusters of undervaccinated counties in the U.S., the largest of which comprises a large portion of Texas, which extends roughly from the central part of the state through the Panhandle.
All of this comes as students are slated to return to classrooms for the fall semester in just a few weeks. While there are protections in place, an order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott forbids school districts from making masks mandatory on campuses. Due to a lack of funding for it, many school districts are not offering virtual learning in the fall.