AUSTIN, Texas – *Editor’s Note: We will livestream all of Governor Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 briefings in this article. If there is not a stream currently available, check back at a later time.
Gov. Greg Abbott held a briefing on Friday at the State Capitol to update the public on the COVID-19 response in Texas.
Abbott said during the press conference that 11,450 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday. Of those, more than 1,500 Texans have been hospitalized and 221 people in the state have died due to the illness, Abbott said.
“Every life lost is one too many,” Abbott said.
The Governor said the state will also begin releasing the number of Texans who have recovered, which means they must clear a 14-day period of “being free of COVID-19,” Abbott said.
As of Friday, 1,366 people in the state have recovered from the virus, marking the second-highest state number in the country, Abbott said.
In terms of hospital capacity, he said there are 20,488 beds available statewide as of Friday and about 2,500 ICU beds. Additionally, the state has 7,484 ventilators available.
Abbott was joined by John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services; Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and John Zerwas, the executive vice chancellor of health affairs at the University of Texas System.
At Wednesday’s briefing, Abbott said more than 96,250 Texans have been tested for COVID-19, and 9,107 have returned positive. He said 175 Texans have died from complications related to COVID-19 and about 1,491 people have been hospitalized in the state.
In Bexar County, there are 554 positive cases of COVID-19, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Wednesday. The virus has resulted in 20 deaths in this county.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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