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Houston coronavirus updates: What you need to know for August 19

A sign of appreciation for first responders outside the ambulance entrance for the Memorial Hermann Hospital emergency room entrance of in the Texas Medical Center complex Friday, Jul. 3, 2020 in Houston, TX.

A sign of appreciation for first responders outside the ambulance entrance for the Memorial Hermann Hospital emergency room entrance of in the Texas Medical Center complex Friday, Jul. 3, 2020 in Houston, TX.

Photo: Michael Wyke / Contributor

Photo: Michael Wyke / Contributor

A sign of appreciation for first responders outside the ambulance entrance for the Memorial Hermann Hospital emergency room entrance of in the Texas Medical Center complex Friday, Jul. 3, 2020 in Houston, TX.

A sign of appreciation for first responders outside the ambulance entrance for the Memorial Hermann Hospital emergency room entrance of in the Texas Medical Center complex Friday, Jul. 3, 2020 in Houston, TX.

Photo: Michael Wyke / Contributor

Houston coronavirus updates: What you need to know for August 19

Chron.com is following the latest headlines on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Houston area

9 a.m.: The latest Houston, Texas numbers 

Tuesday marked the first day since July 31 that the state saw an increase in hospitalizations, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of state data. As of Tuesday evening, there were 6,210 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across Texas.

The statewide total of COVID-19 cases increased by 9,750 cases to 570,583, while the death rate climbed by 193 to 10,620 deaths statewide. The uptick in the cases may be attributed to 2,500 probable cases from Dallas County, which recently began reporting such cases, per the Houston Chronicle data team.

The state’s positive test rate declined from 11.87 percent to 11.18 percent, and the rolling average of viral tests is 58,826.

On HoustonChronicle.com: Coronavirus causing big conflicts at work over masks, cleaning and more

In the Houston region, cases increased by 1,700 to 135,362 while deaths increased by 46 to 2,465. Harris County reported 928 new cases and is now at 93,872 cases total.

In other news, the city of Houston’s Small Business Economic Relief Program (SBERP) opened applications on Wednesday. The program allows small business owners hurt by the pandemic to apply for up to $50,000 in grants to help use for expenses such as payroll, rent and personal protective equipment for employees.

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. Applications can be submitted online here.

Read more on the SBERP program and a joint city and county rent relief fund here on Chron.com. 

NOTE: The numbers included in this report represent a one-day change in data from Monday, August 17 through Tuesday, August 18. It is still unclear how many of the state’s new cases can be attributed to jail inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Houston Chronicle’s analysis of COVID-19 case data now includes probable and pending cases. This change is based on interviews with multiple public health officials and epidemiologists, as well as in line with CDC guidelines on reporting. DSHS is now using death certificate data for its counts of COVID deaths, leading some Texas counties to have dramatically higher counts than others and some counties to have higher numbers than state figures


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