Texas COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline

DALLAS (AP) — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas fell again Sunday after dipping below 10,000 for the first time since December on Saturday.

There were 9,652 people in Texas hospitals with confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus Sunday, according to the Department of State Health Services. That’s the lowest figure recorded since Dec. 16.

State health officials reported 5,278 new, confirmed cases of the virus Sunday, 1,499 probable cases and 167 more fatalities. Texas has reported 38,643 COVID-19 deaths and more than 2.16 million cases since the pandemic began.

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 past week, more than 16% of COVID-19 tests in Texas have 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.