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Official Texas COVID-19 case count tops 800,000 amid a surge

New milestone confirmed on the first day of early voting in Texas

Voters line up outside Richardson City Hall for early voting Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Richardson, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Voters line up outside Richardson City Hall for early voting Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Richardson, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas health officials reported the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 broke through the 800,000-case level Tuesday amid a new surge of cases and the first day of early voting in the general election.

The 5,209 new cases reported Tuesday was the most this month so far, and the 80 previously unreported cases meant a 5,289. The newly reported cases raised to 800,415 the total caseload reported in Texas since tracking and tracing of the pandemic began in March, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported.

An estimated 77,126 of those cases are active, an increase of almost 2,100 since Monday, and 4,053 of those cases required hospitalization.

That was 183 more cases than Monday and the first time more than 4,000 COVID-19 cases required hospitalization since early September. It also was nearly 900 more than Oct. 1 with the state clearly on a slow COVID-19 climb that broke what had been a two-month decline.

Furthermore, the true number of cases in Texas is likely higher though because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The state reported just 64 COVID-19 fatalities Tuesday, raising the state’s pandemic death toll to 16,622.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.