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Texas: Latest updates on coronavirus

The Alamo at sunrise with the Texas flag waving.
(Image: © Shutterstock)

Texas now has 1,731 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the state's Department of Health and Human services. At least 23 people have died. The total makes Texas one of the states with the most U.S. coronavirus cases;  as of March 26, only nine other states currently have more confirmed cases. Texas is the second most populous state in the country.

Though numbers have increased dramatically in recent days, it's difficult to interpret these results as many of the results from days ago are only now testing positive. While cases of the disease are expected to grow exponentially, an increase in testing is also likely to detect more cases. 

At the state level, Gov. Greg Abbott has resisted issuing a shelter-in-place order, but counties that govern vast swaths of the state's major metropolitan areas, encompassing  Dallas, Houston, Austin, El Paso and San Antonio have issued their own shelter-in-place orders. On Wednesday (March 25), President Donald Trump approved Abbott's disaster declaration, which means that federal aid could soon could to the Lone Star State.

For the first time in 119 years, the state has declared a public health disaster, the Houston Chronicle reported. The order forces schools, bars and restaurants to close starting Friday at midnight and limits gatherings to less than 10 people. The order will lift April 3 at the earliest. Takeout and delivery are exempted. 

Earlier in the week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state disaster, and said that numbers would likely rise given increased testing.

"You're going to see an exponential increase in the number of people testing positive on a daily basis, " Abbott said at a news conference on Monday, according to the Texas Tribune. The Lone Star State has conducted 23,666 tests, according to the health department.

"By end of week, everyone who needs a COVID-19 test will be able to get a COVID-19 test," Abbott said. However, people will need a doctor's order to get tested, he said. 

Schools in the state are closed at least until April 3, and on March 15, state officials discussed the possibility of schools being closed throughout the state until the end of the school year, the Texas Tribune reported.

Cases by county:

The hardest hit areas include Dallas County, with 303 cases, Harris County, with 185 cases and Travis County, with 119 cases.

Cases by county:

  • Dallas County: 367
  • Harris County: 203
  • Travis County: 137
  • Bexar County: 113
  • Tarrant County: 100
  • Collin County: 88
  • Fort Bend County: 86
  • Denton County: 83
  • Montgomery County: 41
  • Galveston County: 40
  • Brazoria County: 39
  • McLennan County: 33
  • Brazos County: 30
  • Williamson County: 27
  • Lubbock County: 23
  • El Paso County: 21
  • Smith County: 21
  • Bell County: 20
  • Nueces County: 18
  • Hays County: 13
  • Webb County: 13
  • Wichita County: 12
  • Hidalgo County: 11
  • Cameron County: 10
  • Ellis County: 10
  • Comal County: 9
  • Matagorda County: 9
  • Guadalupe County: 8
  • Jefferson County: 8
  • Castro County: 7
  • Johnson County: 6
  • Midland County: 6
  • Hockley County: 5
  • Gregg County: 4
  • Hardin County: 4
  • Kendall County: 4
  • Brown County: 3
  • De Witt County: 3
  • Medina County: 3
  • Rockwall County: 3
  • Victoria County: 3
  • Wharton County: 3
  • Angelina County: 2
  • Atascosa County: 2
  • Bastrop County: 2
  • Bowie County: 2
  • Calhoun County: 2
  • Chambers County: 2
  • Deaf Smith County: 2
  • Eastland County: 2
  • Grayson County: 2
  • Grimes County: 2
  • Hood County: 2
  • Kaufman County: 2
  • Liberty County: 2
  • Llano County: 2
  • Milam County: 2
  • Parker County: 2
  • Rusk County: 2
  • Starr County: 2
  • Tom Green County: 2
  • Val Verde County: 2
  • Walker County: 2
  • Austin County: 1
  • Blanco County: 1
  • Burnet County: 1
  • Cass County: 1
  • Cherokee County: 1
  • Coryell County: 1
  • Crane County: 1
  • Erath County: 1
  • Falls County: 1
  • Fannin County: 1
  • Fayette County: 1
  • Gaines County: 1
  • Hale County: 1
  • Harrison County: 1
  • Hopkins County: 1
  • Hunt County: 1
  • Jackson County: 1
  • Karnes County: 1
  • Lamar County: 1
  • Lavaca County: 1
  • Limestone County: 1
  • Martin County: 1
  • Maverick County: 1
  • Montague County: 1
  • Morris County: 1
  • Nacogdoches County: 1
  • Navarro County: 1
  • Oldham County: 1
  • Orange County: 1
  • Potter County: 1
  • Robertson County: 1
  • San Patricio County: 1
  • Shelby County: 1
  • Taylor County: 1
  • Terry County: 1
  • Upshur County: 1
  • Uvalde County: 1
  • Van Zandt County: 1
  • Willacy County: 1
  • Wilson County: 1
  • Yoakum County: 1
  • Young County: 1