Coronavirus Outbreak

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

Saturday proved to be the worst day for Texas with new cases of coronavirus with more than 1,800 across the state. 

The number of cases has steadily increased since May 5 with more than 14,000 people testing positive for COVID-19. The state reported 33 new deaths related tot he virus.

Faced with the testing every nursing home patient in the coming days, the state provided numbers on how many cases were in nursing homes around the state. On Friday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported that more than 3,000 nursing home residents had the infection. 

The 3,000 positive tests represent about 4% of the estimated number of Texans living in nursing homes, the Houston Chronicle reported. By comparison, about 0.15% of Texas residents have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

More than 26,000 residents and staff have died from outbreaks of the virus at the nation's nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to an AP tally based on state health departments and media reports. That is about a third of all 76,000 deaths in the U.S. that have been attributed to the virus.

While nursing home residents in Texas make up around 6% of the state's positive cases, they account for about 38% of the state's deaths related to COVID-19, the newspaper reported.

The numbers for nursing homes that the state has released are broken down by region, but advocates and family members have been calling for more detailed information that shows cases by specific facility or at least by county.

"We'd like to see more transparency where the cases are," said Amanda Fredriksen, associate state director for advocacy and outreach at AARP Texas. "And in seeing more testing going forward, especially as the state continues to open up."

In Region 8, which includes Kerr County, there were 21 nursing homes with infections — although none here.

On Friday, officials in Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle reported an increase of 734 cases of COVID-19 in Potter and Randall counties, the two counties that encompass the city. Officials reported 58 new cases in the Amarillo area on Saturday.

Amarillo officials and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have said the spike was due to increased testing in the area, particularly in a local meatpacking plant that has seen a cluster of infections. Abbott's office had sent a surge response team to the Amarillo area, including members of the Texas National Guard.

"By immediately deploying resources and supplies to these high risk areas, we will identify the positive cases, isolate the individuals and ensure any outbreak is quickly contained, which is the strategy being deployed in Amarillo," Abbott said in a statement Saturday.

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