Texas reports new record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 28: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medical staff member Mantra Nguyen installs a new oxygen mask for a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center on December 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. According to reports, Texas has recorded more than 1,710,000 coronovirus cases, including more than 27,100 deaths. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

DALLAS – Texas hit a new record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations Sunday, as a surge in the disease caused by the novel coronavirus continued to strain state medical resources following holiday travel and gatherings.

State health officials reported 12,563 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, an increase of more than 240 from Saturday. It was the sixth time in seven days that the state reported record breaking hospitalizations.

Intensive care units in several parts of the state were full or nearly full Sunday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The department reported 14,535 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, 1,510 more probable cases and 50 fatalities. 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 last seven days, nearly one in five coronavirus tests in Texas has 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.