The Houston Chronicle’s Live Updates blog documents the latest events in the coronavirus outbreak in the Houston area, the state of Texas and across the U.S. with a focus on health and economic impacts.
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Total coronavirus cases:
• 516,686 cases in Texas, including 9,165 deaths.
• 124,272 in the Houston region, including 2,129 deaths.
• More than 5.1 million in the U.S., including 164,545 deaths. Click here to see a U.S. map with state-by-state death tolls and the latest coronavirus case counts.
• More than 20.3 million in the world, with more than 742,048 deaths. More than 12.6 million people have recovered. You can view the worldwide totals here.
Resources on COVID-19 and Texas’ reopening: Use our interactive page to track the spread of cases through Harris County and the rest of Texas. For a detailed look at our state, check out the Chronicle’s Texas Coronavirus Map. To get regular updates on our coverage, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.
Latest updates from today:
8:51 a.m. Texans secondary coach D’Anton Lynn’s father, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, revealed Tuesday night that he was previously diagnosed with COVID-19, reports Aaron Wilson.
“I can’t promise you that you’re not going to get infected. I got infected,” the older Lynn told his team via Zoom.
Saints coach Sean Payton and Eagles coach Doug Pederson have also stated that they contracted COVID-19.
8:40 a.m. Temporary medical marijuana dispensaries in Houston, Katy, Plano and San Antonio are helping patients manage pain during the pandemic.
Features reporter Julie Garcia interviewed the CEO of Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation, Morris Denton, about the company’s efforts to set up temporary dispensaries to help the more than 700 Houston-area patients who have a valid prescription for a THC medication, so that they don’t have to travel to Austin or pay a $25 delivery fee. TOCC is one of just three licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in the state
Houston does not currently have any standing dispensaries. TOCC sites are appointment-based and prescription-only, with no walk-ins allowed.
8:30 a.m. Houston added 8,000 jobs in the health care sector in June, recovering from major employment losses for the second month in a row, reports Gwendolyn Wu. However, analysts said it’s too early to know if that trend will continues for the rest of the summer.
The national industry is down 800,000 since February, but had regained 126,000 jobs– primarily in dentists and physicians offices, hospital systems and home health care– as of Friday.
A rise in telemedicine and the cost of health insurance plan to employers amid the pandemic may play a role in shaping trends within the industry.
8:20 a.m. The new coronavirus can count the free market in the United States as its most high-profile victim, writes business columnist Chris Tomlinson.
Tomlinson explains the current role the Federal Reserve has taken on during this economic crisis, and asks important questions about the current economic state of affairs: How much fight has the Fed really got? What are the Fed’s limits? How do we convert back into a free market after the pandemic?
Heedless faith in the Fed, and disregard for economic fundamentals, will end in tears, Tomlinson warns.
8:07 a.m. Houston bars are struggling. Those that offer food are scraping by with to-go booze orders, but those without kitchens are faring even worse, write reporters Amanda Drane and Greg Morago. The industry started its recovery process following the May 22 limited reopening when they were hit again on June 26 after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state’s roughly 5,500 bars closed indefinitely.
Bar owners are feeling targeted, and some have even filed suit against Abbott to overturn the order.
“We’re all looking at our bank accounts like you would at the life bar in a video game,” said Michael Neff, owner of the Cottonmouth Club downtown. “All of us are just watching that life bar everyday trying to predict how long we have until it disappears.”
8:00 a.m. Texas saw its largest COVID-19 case increase in nearly a week with 8,402 new infections, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of state data.
The increase — the highest since last Wednesday — brought the statewide total to 516,686 cases. Another 239 deaths brought the fatality count to 9,165. This is the 8th highest single-day increase in deaths since the pandemic began.
Additionally, the dropping average in viral tests has been leading to a sharp increase in the statewide positive test rate. The positivity rate rose from 20.99 percent to 23.97 percent, another record high.
— Julian Gill and Stephanie Lamm