AUSTIN, Texas – The state health department on Wednesday recorded an additional 326 COVID-19 deaths in Texas, shattering the previous record of 278 deaths reported on July 23.
That brought the Texas death toll for the eight-month-old coronavirus outbreak to 28,545, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The state reported 19,535 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,026 probable cases on Wednesday, bringing to almost 1.9 million the number of confirmed and probable cases in Texas.
Of those, 320,540 cases were active on Wednesday, a record 13,628 were hospitalized, the 10th consecutive record day.
Also on Wednesday, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced four new deaths due to the virus. The area’s case count increased by 2,097 new cases.
City officials also reported that 1,341 patients are hospitalized, 383 are in the intensive care unit and 199 are on ventilators.
Austin-area officials announced Wednesday that they were discussing plans to turn the Austin Convention Center into a field hospital as hospitals continue to fill close to their capacities because of the soaring number of COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Mark Escott, the interim Austin-Travis County health director, said local hospitals' intensive-care units were projected to be filled to capacity by Jan. 15. However, the convention center could be pressed into service as a field hospital sooner as a surge of cases from the Christmas and New Year's holidays was expected to intensify, he said.
The convention center was pressed into service as a hospital previously during the July COVID-19 surge for up to 1,500 coronavirus patients.