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COVID death count rises

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Three new deaths in Bandera County were attributed to COVID-19, bringing the death count since the start of the pandemic to 43, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

DSHS listed 105 active cases of COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon before updating that count to 74 as of Monday afternoon.

Nationwide, more than 675,000 people have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is more than the death count for the 1918 flu pandemic.

Epidemiologist Stephen Kissler of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in an interview with CNN on Monday that the 1918 pandemic killed a higher proportion of Americans, as the country’s population was one-third the size it is today.

Statewide, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the state decreased about 7 percent from last week, with 111,565 reported by the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.

However, new deaths were up slightly, with 1,800 reported as of Sunday.

The number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in Texas dropped slightly, with DSHS reporting 12,246 inpatients, down 7.8 percent from the previous week.

However, with 3,618 of those hospitalized in intensive-care unit beds, the total number of available staffed adult ICU beds declined to just 277 statewide, with only 86 pediatric ICU beds available in the entire state.

The number of Texans who are fully vaccinated is now 14.46 million reported in the state, according to DSHS, which is just under half of the state’s population.