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Texas’ coronavirus test positivity rate exceeds 10% for the first time since February

The increase indicates that the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rampantly among the unvaccinated.

TEXAS, USA — This article was originally published in the Texas Tribune.

The positivity rate, which measures how prevalent the virus is in Texas, has crossed a 10% “red zone” threshold, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

This indicates that the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rampantly among the unvaccinated. The positivity rate hasn’t been this high since February, and in mid-June it was as low as 2.8%. Statewide, hospitalizations have increased in the last three weeks.

Meanwhile, more than 40% of Texans are fully vaccinated, and a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found nearly half of Texas voters have returned to their pre-pandemic lives. But the number of vaccines administered has been declining each month since April.

Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for the vaccine in Texas, regardless of occupation or health status. Only the Pfizer vaccine is available to people ages 12 to 17. 

Below is the latest Texas data on the coronavirus from the Texas Department of State Health Services:

Vaccine:

As of July 17, 14.3 million people have received at least one dose in Texas, which is 49.4% of Texas’ population, and 12.4 million people, or 42.7%, are fully vaccinated. A total of 25.7 million doses have been administered. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose.

Average new cases

Cases increased by 1,374 cases compared with the seven-day average a week ago. On July 18, there were 1,815 new confirmed cases and 286 new probable cases were reported.

Hospitalizations

Hospitalizations increased by 977 patients compared with a week ago. As of July 17, 2,938 Texans are hospitalized for the coronavirus.

Average new deaths

Deaths stayed the same compared with the seven-day average a week ago. On July 18, 11 new deaths were reported.

Click here for a full breakdown of places to get the vaccine in the San Antonio area.