Texas on brink of record 13K in hospitals as virus surges

Neurology Specialist Dr. Ameer E. Hassan receives an injection of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas was on the brink Monday of surpassing a record 13,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as the number of new cases after the Christmas holiday continued surging, including Rep. Kay Granger, who said she tested positive upon returning to Washington for the new Congress.

In a statement, Granger’s office said the 77-year-old Republican is asymptomatic and “feeling great!” It was unclear how she contracted the virus but Granger, a ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in December.

She had been scheduled to receive the second dose Wednesday but will now wait until she is through quarantining, said Michelle Koepp, a spokeswoman for Granger.

People are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot, but full protection may not happen until a couple of weeks after the second shot.

Texas has set new highs for hospitalized COVID-19 patients seven times in the past eight days. Nearly 16,000 new cases were reported Monday, and along the U.S- Mexico border, the small Texas city of Roma announced that longtime Police Chief Jose Garcia had died after contracting COVID-19. He had led the department for more than 27 years.

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