Peter Wells in New York
Texas reported a record jump in coronavirus cases on Tuesday in a sign the virus is again spreading through the second-most populous state in the US.
A further 10,865 people tested positive over the past 24 hours, authorities revealed, up from 3,816 on Monday and compared with 7,997 on Tuesday last week.
That edged past the previous peak of 10,791 new cases on July 15, as per health department data, when the state was among those in the sunbelt that experienced a surge in infections.
The Lone Star state has averaged about 7,000 new cases a day over the past week, the highest rate in three months, and compared to a peak rate of about 9,500 a day in late July.
Authorities have, for months, been adding older cases stemming from backlogs of tests at commercial laboratories to its statewide total, although these are excluded from the daily tally.
There were 346 historical cases revealed by authorities on Tuesday, including 201 from the area around El Paso and 132 from the region around Houston.
That all took the number of infections in Texas since the start of the pandemic to 974,230 and putting it fewer than 3,000 cases away from surpassing California as the US state with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The recent increase in cases may partially be a function of increased testing, with the seven-day average of Covid-19 tests in Texas topping 100,000 for the first time on Sunday. However, the state’s positivity rate, at more than 11 per cent, is hovering around its highest level in three months,
The increase in cases has also been accompanied by a rise in the number of people in Texas hospitals being treated for coronavirus. Hospital admissions edged rose to 6,170 on Tuesday from 6,103 on Monday, the highest since August 17.
Authorities attributed a further 94 fatalities to coronavirus, up from 26 on Monday and compared with 97 on Tuesday last week.
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