Texas reported 672 more cases of the coronavirus Thursday, an increase of about 17% over the previous day, bringing the total number of known cases to 4,669. Eight new counties reported their first cases Wednesday; more than half of the state’s 254 counties have reported at least one case.
Harris County has reported the most cases, 847, followed by Dallas County, which has reported 731 cases.
The state has reported 12 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 70 — an increase of about 21% from Tuesday. Dallas County reported two additional deaths, bringing its total to 15 deaths, more than any other county.
As of Wednesday, at least 50,679 tests have been conducted in Texas.
Also Thursday, Houston’s second drive-thru testing site opened at Delmar Stadium and will test about 250 people per day, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Thursday.
Anyone with symptoms can get tested for free after completing an online screening process. Turner also announced that the city has received 21,000 masks donated by Shanghai, China. However, he urged those with extra personal protection equipment to continue to donate it to first responders and health care professionals. Turner previously said that three of the four drive-through testing sites slated to open in Harris County had been unable to because of a PPE shortage.
Concerns that too many Houston residents using city parks are not adhering to social distancing guidelines prompted Turner to order all basketball hoops be taken down.
He said 492 basketball goals in 142 parks will be removed.
“Hated to do it. But health first,” Turner said.
Elsewhere, Texas’ youth prison system said it would no longer accept young people transferred from any county jail where someone has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Texas Juvenile Justice Department said in a statement that the policy applies to jails in Dallas, Harris and Bowie counties, as well as the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center, which last week reported someone younger than 16 tested positive.