Someone dies from COVID-19 every 2 hours in Harris Co., data shows

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Saturday, November 14, 2020
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The exponential growth of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in El Paso, Texas, has put Houston medical officials on alert. In the video, they weigh in on the chances El Paso could happen in Houston.

As new coronavirus cases surge around the country, Harris County officials reported more than a thousand new cases a day Thursday, with another 800 reported Friday. That's a new case reported every one to two minutes.

Someone dies of coronavirus every two hours, according to Harris County data.

Across Texas, now reporting more than 1 million cases of COVID-19, a new case is diagnosed every 8 seconds. A death from the virus is reported every 12 minutes.

Almost 7,000 COVID-19 patients were in Texas hospitals Thursday, the most in almost three months, as infections of the coronavirus that causes the disease continue statewide, nationwide and worldwide.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Thursday that "another pull-back" is necessary, signaling the state's most populous county may be headed for more restrictions.

The 6,925 hospitalizations are the most Texas has counted since Aug. 12, according to reports by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

However, state figures appear to be lagging indicators of the present COVID-19 outbreak in Texas when compared with statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The state coronavirus count for the pandemic that began in March was 993,841, while the Johns Hopkins count for Texas topped 1 million earlier this week. Meanwhile, the state's tabulations have often usually have left dozens, sometimes hundreds, of cases uncounted for weeks.

Overall, 62,525 new coronavirus infections and 698 new COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Texas in this past week alone, according to Johns Hopkins statistics. The Texas death toll for the pandemic was 19,469, as of Thursday.

The coronavirus wave continues to alarm local officials. As coronavirus cases overwhelmed El Paso-area hospitals, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego imposed a curfew, which Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asserts violates Gov. Greg Abbott's emergency order pre-empting local authority to take such action.

The video above takes a look at El Paso's exploding coronavirus outbreak during the fall.

Now, the lone Republican in charge of one of the state's top five urban counties said he would like to fine persons who do not and will not wear face masks, but Abbott's order will not allow it.

"That's the last thing in the world that we wanted to do, but our top priorities are keeping the hospitals open and keeping businesses open," Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley told KRLD-AM. "And with the huge increases that we've had in cases recently, the numbers that are beginning to show up in the hospitals, that's becoming more and more of a concern."

Tarrant County, which was the last major Texas urban county to require face masks, reported 1,191 new coronavirus infections and seven new COVID-19 deaths Thursday, all with underlying health conditions. That brought the county's total cases to 78,029 and its death toll to 784.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.