Texas killed 10,000 COVID-19 dead

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Texas mourns more than 10,000 known COVID-19 deaths, 100 times more people than were killed in Hurricane Harvey, according to new figures released Monday by state officials. It is a gloomy mark that only three other states have passed since the pandemic hit in the United States earlier this year.

Among those who died were 65-year-old Robert Rhodes, a ‘professorial professor’ for decades at Christian University in Texas; 40-year-old Jimmy Sanchez, owner of San Antonio thrift store; and 55-year-old Jimmy Miller, a first-term justice of the peace in Jasper County.

New Jersey, New York and California also reported 10,000 known COVID-19 deaths. Experts say the official cause of death in Texas is anything but certain as an undercount, given insufficient testing, especially at the outset of the pandemic.

Hispanic Texans make up 53.4% ​​of the state’s 10,034 deaths from coronavirus, far more than their share of 40% of the population. In Texas and across the country, COVID-19 has been shown to be more deadly to color communities.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations in the state has been trending downward since a peak in July. Experts believe that a statewide mask mandate, that Gov. Greg Abbott released in July, helping to slow the spread of the virus.

The positivity rate – a rolling average of how many coronavirus tests reveal positive cases – is still at an alarming level of 11.8%. Abbott said any level above 10% is a “warning flag.”

Yet the positivity rate has plummeted considerably since last week, the apparent result of a data dump Friday of about 95,000 tests from a single laboratory serving many hospitals. The abrupt increase in testing lowered the state’s positive rating from a record high of 24.5%. State health officials blamed the data problems on lab backlogs, coding errors and a system upgrade.

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