DATA: Texas surpasses 700,000 total COVID-19 cases; almost 14,000 previously-unreported cases disclosed Tuesday

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN is keeping track of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by aggregating data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and local and county health departments. Click here for data specific to Central Texas.

How many cases are there in Texas?

The state’s first case of COVID-19 was reported March 4 in Fort Bend County. As of September 22, Texas has officially reported 716,207 cases of COVID-19 in the state. Over the past seven days, the state has seen an average of 3,184 new cases each day.

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Harris County has the most cases of COVID-19, with 137,946. When adjusted for population though, other counties rise to the top, notably Maverick, Willacy, Bee, Moore, Hale, Cameron and Starr Counties. The second map below shows the rate of cases per 1,000 people, using July 2019 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Reported Cases per County

Hover or tap the counties below to see the known patient count. Mobile users can zoom in and move the map using two-finger touch.

Reported Cases per 1,000 People

Hover or tap the counties below to see the known number of COVID-19 cases per 1,000 for each county. Mobile users can zoom in and move the map using two-finger touch.

How many people have died?

The state’s first COVID-19-related death was reported March 16 in Matagorda County. As of September 22, the state has officially reported 14,994 deaths. Over the past seven days, Texas has reported an average of 93 deaths each day. Harris County has the most deaths related to COVID-19, with 2,518.

On July 27, DSHS changed the way it reports COVID-19 deaths. The state previously counted COVID-19 fatalities after local health departments verified each death. Now, the state identifies COVID-19 deaths using the cause of death listed on death certificates.

DSHS said the new method “allows fatalities to be counted faster with more comprehensive demographic data.” The total number of deaths does not include people who had COVID-19 but died from an unrelated cause.

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Reported Deaths in Texas

Hover or tap the counties below to see the known number of deaths related to COVID-19. Mobile users can zoom in and move the map using two-finger touch.

How many people have been tested?

The State of Texas is reporting total numbers for three different types of tests:

  • Molecular: These are used to determine whether someone is currently infected with COVID-19. If you test positive in a molecular test, you are counted as a “confirmed” case.
  • Antigen: This test is a nasal swab that also determines whether someone is currently infected. They are sometimes referred to as rapid tests, because the results can come back in as little as 15 minutes. If you test positive in an antigen test, you are considered a “probable” case but not a “confirmed” case, and therefore you wouldn’t be counted in the state’s total number of cases.
  • Antibody: This type of test determines whether someone was previously infected. It’s a blood test that looks for proteins that the body creates to fight an infection. If you test positive in an antibody test, you are not considered a “confirmed” or “probable” case.

On May 13, the state started reporting the number of molecular and antibody tests separately. Prior to that, the test types were combined and reported as one number. Antigen test totals were first reported on August 6.

On September 14, DSHS changed the way it reports the state’s positive rate. The department said it would primarily rely on the “Specimen Collection Date Positivity Rate,” which factors in when tests are performed, rather than when results are reported. The state says this provides “the most accurate view of the pandemic’s effect over time.”

DSHS reports test results a day late. As of September 21, 5,667,732 molecular tests have been reported by the state. A total of 12.32 percent of all tests since the start of the pandemic have come back positive. The state’s seven-day average positive rate, according to the specimen collection date, is 6.46 percent. Gov. Greg Abbott has said a positive rate above 10 percent is a “warning flag.”

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Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

In addition to the molecular tests, 71,209 antigen test results have been reported. Of those, 8,712 tests have been positive, giving an overall positive rate of 12.23 percent.

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Texas has also reported 389,207 antibody test results. A total of 35,026 of those tests have come back positive. That’s a positive rate of 9.00 percent.

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How has the number of cases changed over time?

KXAN is keeping track of the daily increase in COVID-19 cases across Texas. The highest daily jump occurred on July 15, when 10,791 new cases were added to the state’s total. The largest increase in deaths in a single day occurred on August 12, when 324 new deaths were reported.

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Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

How many people are in the hospital?

DSHS reports 3,207 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized across the state. As of September 22, 3.67 percent of active cases currently require hospitalization.

Between July 23 and July 28, DSHS reported incomplete hospitalization data “due to a transition in reporting to comply with new federal requirements.” Because of this transition, not every hospital was able to provide complete data to the state. The percent of hospitals reporting data returned to normal levels on July 29.

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Charts can be swiped left and right. Tap to explore the data

How many people have recovered?

DSHS is estimating that 613,896 patients have recovered from COVID-19 across the state, as of September 22. The number is an estimate based on assumptions related to hospitalization rates and recovery times, according to the state. Based on this, KXAN estimates 87,317 cases are still active.

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What factors are affecting the data?

On May 23 and 24, testing data was not available due to a “technical problem with electronic lab reports.”

On June 16, DSHS reported an additional 1,476 cases and seven deaths that had previously gone unreported. These cases were among TDCJ prison inmates in Anderson and Brazoria County.

On July 15, DSHS announced that the San Antonio Metro Health District had been reporting probable cases in its total for Bexar County, rather than just confirmed cases. As a result, 3,484 probable cases were removed from the county and state total.

On July 17, DSHS announced around 4,662 previously-uncounted cases in Bexar County. According to San Antonio Metro Health, the cases had not been reported as”the result of a “backlog in the reporting process.”

Between July 23 and July 28, DSHS reported incomplete hospitalization data “due to a transition in reporting to comply with new federal requirements.” Because of this transition, not every hospital was able to provide complete data to the state, resulting in a partial data set:

  • On July 23, 84.5 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 24, 90 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 25, 89 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 26, 85 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 27, 82 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • On July 28, 91 percent of hospitals reported complete data
  • The percent of hospitals reporting data returned to normal levels on July 29.

On July 25, DSHS announced that the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District had been reporting probable cases in its total. As a result, 2,092 probable cases were removed from the county and state total.

On July 27, DSHS changed the way it reports COVID-19 deaths. The state previously counted COVID-19 fatalities after local health departments verified each death. Now, the state identifies COVID-19 deaths using the cause of death listed on death certificates. Because of this change, 675 new deaths were added to the state’s total on July 27.

On July 30, DSHS reported that during the shift to using death certificate data to count COVID-19 deaths, an “automation error” caused 225 deaths to be included that were not directly caused by COVID-19. A manual quality check of data revealed the issue late on July 29. Those deaths were removed from the state’s total.

On August 3, DSHS removed 471 cases from Bexar County’s total. Those had been duplicate cases reported by San Antonio Metro Health.

On August 11, DSHS announced 890 previously-uncounted cases in Nueces County. According to the state, these cases stemmed “from a laboratory reporting backlog.”

In mid August, DSHS revealed that more than 500,000 test results had been backlogged, meaning thousands of positive cases had gone unreported. The state said this was partly due to a lab reporting system upgrade on August 1, that allowed the system to process a higher volume of test results. In addition, coding errors had prevented data from some hospitals and commercial labs from being uploaded to the state’s reporting system.

Of the 504,000 backlogged tests, 95,000 were reported on August 12. Another 59,000 were reported on August 15. On September 8, DSHS told KXAN it plans to “pull out” any future large batches of backlogged test results so they do not affect the state’s positive rate. DSHS had been including backlogged test totals, but not backlogged cases, which deflated the positive rate.

The backlogged cases were added to the state’s total over the span of several weeks:

  • On August 17, 5,195 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On August 19, 550 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On August 20, 336 cases in Fort Bend County and 44 in Dallas County were added.
  • On August 21, 206 cases in Dallas County and 164 in Montgomery County were added.
  • On August 22, 459 cases in Dallas County, 134 in Montgomery County and 23 in Nueces County were added.
  • On August 23, 862 cases in Dallas County and 43 in Nueces County were added.
  • On August 24, 93 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On August 25, 171 cases in Montgomery County and 84 in Dallas County were added.
  • On August 26, 94 cases in Montgomery County were added.
  • On August 27, 424 cases in Dallas County and 117 in Montgomery County were added.
  • On August 28, 59 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On August 29, 18 cases in Dallas County and 12 in Montgomery County were added.
  • On August 30, 65 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On August 31, 241 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 1, 235 cases in Dallas county and 13 in Montgomery County were added.
  • On September 2, 167 cases in Dallas County and 10 in Montgomery County were added.
  • On September 3, 35 cases in Dallas County and 27 in Montgomery County were added.
  • On September 4, 343 cases in Starr County, 223 in Kleberg County, 205 in Willacy County, 183 in Jim Wells County, 149 in Bee County, 78 in Aransas County, 28 in Montgomery County, 28 in Refugio County, 18 in Brooks County, seven in Duval County, two in McMullen County, one in Dallas County, one in Kenedy County and one in Zapata County were added.
  • On September 5, 30 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 6, 195 cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 7, three cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 8, five cases in Nueces County were added.
  • On September 9, 168 cases in Montgomery County were added.
  • On September 10, 110 cases in Dallas County and 56 in Montgomery County were added.
  • On September 11, 59 cases in Montgomery County were added.
  • On September 12, 309 cases in Harris County, 64 in Dallas County and 46 in Galveston County were added.
  • On September 13, five cases in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 14, 1,399 cases in Bexar County and 17 in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 15, 316 cases in Harris County, 110 in Montgomery County and 100 in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 16, 2,411 cases in Harris County, 109 in Montgomery County, 68 in Dallas County, 26 in Collin County and three in Houston County were added.
  • On September 17, 329 cases in Tarrant County, 167 in Harris County, 93 in Montgomery County, 15 in Collin County, 13 in Dallas County, one in Camp County and one in Upshur County were added.
  • On September 18, 305 cases in Harris County, 94 in Collin County, 52 in Dallas County, 47 in Montgomery County, 13 in Galveston County, one in Bowie County, one in Harrison County and one in Houston County were added.
  • On September 19, 340 cases in Harris County, 28 in Collin County and 26 in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 20, 207 cases in Harris County, 17 in Galveston County and 1 in Dallas County were added.
  • On September 21, 2,088 cases in Bexar County, 1,587 in Guadalupe County, 522 in Atascosa County, 328 in Harris County, 307 in Wilson County, 306 in Dallas County, 298 in Frio County, 252 in Lavaca County, 234 in Gonzales County, 186 in Calhoun County, 181 in Karnes County, 142 in Kerr County, 128 in Kendall County, 125 in Tarrant County, 96 in Gillespie County, 77 in Jackson County, 53 in Dimmit County, 51 in Zavala County, 41 in Bandera County, 33 in Edwards County, 19 in Kinney County, 12 in Real County, three in Collin County and one in Houston County were added.
  • On September 22, 13,622 cases in Harris County, 231 in Nueces County, two in Dallas County and one in San Jacinto County were added.

On August 24, DSHS was unable to release test data because of a network outage affecting multiple state agencies. The outage meant not all labs were able to report test results to the state. The missing data was reported the following day.

On September 3, DSHS reported that 281 positive cases among prison inmates had been counted twice in the state’s total. The inmates were transferred from Jefferson County to Walker County ahead of Hurricane Laura, and had been counted as a positive case in each county. As of September 3, the inmates had transferred back to Jefferson County, and the duplicate cases were removed.

On September 9, DSHS removed 453 duplicate cases among prison inmates in Walker County.

On September 12, DSHS announced a data entry error the day prior caused an incorrect total to be reported for Colorado County. The county had 454 cases, but 545 was incorrectly reported. As a result, 91 cases were removed from the county’s total to correct the error.

On September 14, DSHS changed the way it reports the state’s positive rate. The department said it would primarily rely on the “Specimen Collection Date Positivity Rate,” which factors in when tests are performed, rather than when results are reported. The state says this provides “the most accurate view of the pandemic’s effect over time.”

Also on September 14, DSHS changed its protocol for reporting lab results, to only report those that have passed quality checks. The revised methodology ensures that duplicate cases are removed and information for each case is complete before being reported. Any lab results that have errors will not be included in the state’s totals until they pass validation requirements. This change caused the total number of molecular tests reported to decrease by 352,598.

On September 15, DSHS announced a data entry error the day prior caused an incorrect total to be reported for Lamar County. As a result, 41 cases were removed from the county’s total.

On September 16, several counties saw decreases in their case totals for various reasons, according to DSHS. A reduction in cases among TDCJ prison inmates was reported in Bee and La Salle Counties. Duplicate cases were removed from the totals in Calhoun, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Kerr, Lavaca, Orange, Roberts and Wharton Counties. Updated case information altered totals in Shackelford and Swisher Counties.

On September 17, several counties saw decreases in their case totals for various reasons, according to DSHS. A reduction in cases among TDCJ prison inmates was reported in Bee, Childress, Houston, Karnes, Madison and Walker Counties. Duplicate cases were removed from the totals in Bandera, Kendall, Titus and Zavala Counties. Updated case information altered totals in Archer, Swisher and Yoakum Counties.

On September 18, several counties saw decreases in their case totals for various reasons, according to DSHS. A reduction in cases among TDCJ prison inmates was reported in Anderson, Duval, Fannin, Grimes and Liberties Counties. The total in Anderson County decreased by 1,070. Updated case information altered totals in Bailey County.

Editor’s Note: KXAN previously provided a count of cases and deaths, as reported by local and county health departments. As of August 6, KXAN is no longer providing that count, and is instead solely reporting data provided by DSHS.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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