Texas coronavirus hospitalizations fall but remain near peak

Members of the medical staff rest on a stretcher in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on July 2, 2020 in Houston, Texas. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked since Texas reopened, pushing intensive-care wards to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the virus spreads. (Go Nakamura, 2020 Getty Images)

DALLAS – Coronavirus hospitalizations in Texas fell Saturday but continued to hover near their summer peak, as state health officials reported more than 2,500 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths linked to the disease.

The state health department reported there were 10,773 patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, a decrease of nearly 100 from Friday when hospitalizations hit their highest number since July.

Intensive care units in several parts of Texas were full or nearly full, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Health officials have wared that holiday gatherings and travel are likely to further spread the virus.

There were 2,127 newly confirmed cases of the virus Saturday and another 428 probable cases, according to the health department.

The actual number of cases is believed to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and some who get sick don’t show symptoms.

Over the past week, more than 14% of coronavirus tests in Texas have come back positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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 illness and be fatal.