Texas surpasses 11,000 coronavirus deaths

Medical personal react to help a paient in COVID-19 ICU unit at DHR Hospital on Monday, July 27, 2020, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas surpassed 11,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday and reported more than 4,600 confirmed new cases, while the number of patients hospitalized because of the virus continue to fall.

Texas earlier this week became just the fourth state to surpass 10,000 deaths, but the toll has rapidly mounted as the state has added hundreds of new deaths daily in August.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott also announced federal approval of some out-of-work Texans to receive an additional $300 a week through President Donald Trump’s offer of stripped-down unemployment benefits. People out of work had been receiving an extra federally funded $600 a week, but the boost expired at the end of July.

Abbott previously was noncommittal about whether Texas would accept the money while expressing optimism that Trump and Congress would reach a deal on a broader new coronavirus relief plan. An Associated Press survey shows at least 25 states have said they intend to pursue the money while two states, Mississippi and South Dakota, have said they won’t.

State health officials reported that roughly 5,500 coronavirus patients were hospitalized Friday, which is nearly half as many as July’s peak.

The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.