Texas agriculture head Sid Miller positive for COVID-19

FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2016, file photo, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller waves as he arrives at Mar-a-Lago to meet with President-elect Donald Trump's transition team in Palm Beach, Fla. Sid Miller who has been critical of measures Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has implemented to help slow down the coronavirus pandemic said Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 that he has tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas state official who has been critical of measures Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has implemented to help slow down the coronavirus pandemic said Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was among leaders from the right wing of the Texas Republican Party who staged a protest outside of Abbott’s home in October. Miller, 65, was among an estimated 200 people gathered outside the governor’s mansion to blast Abbott’s executive orders, including a continued statewide mask mandate and lockdowns.

In a statement Wednesday, Miller said he’d be quarantining at his ranch.

“Not feeling my best, but I’ve survived rodeo injuries, broken bones, hip, double knee and shoulder surgery, west nile virus and cancer, and I’m going to beat this too,” he said in the statement.

For a second day this week, hospitalizations of people with the coronavirus in Texas topped 9,000, state health officials said Wednesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said 9,053 were hospitalized Wednesday. The state reported 9,028 hospitalizations the day before.

Last week marked the first time Texas surpassed a daily count of 9,000 hospitalizations since a deadly summer outbreak.

Texas officials reported 10,930 new coronavirus cases Wednesday after reporting 15,103 a day earlier. Texas has reported more than 1.2 million cases since the pandemic began.

The true number of infections in Texas is likely higher because many haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say the death toll in Texas is at more than 23,000, the second highest in the country.

There were 575.3 new cases per 100,000 people in Texas over the past two weeks, which ranks 40th in the country for new cases per capita, according to Johns Hopkins. One in every 300 people in Texas tested positive in the past week.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

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