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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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.
Total coronavirus cases:
• 1,258,011 cases in Texas, including 22,191 deaths.
• 270,574 in the Houston region, including 4,070 deaths.
• More than 13.9 million in the U.S., including 273,300 deaths. Click here to see a U.S. map with state-by-state death tolls and the latest coronavirus case counts.
• More than 64.4 million in the world, with more than 1.4 million deaths. More than 41.4 million people have recovered. You can view the worldwide totals here.
Latest updates from today:
9:56 a.m. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are volunteering to get their COVID-19 vaccines on camera to promote public confidence in the vaccine’s safety once the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes one.
The three most recent former presidents hope an awareness campaign to promote confidence in its safety and effectiveness would be a powerful message as American public health officials try to convince the public to take the vaccine.
Obama, in an interview on SiriusXM that will air Thursday, said that if Dr. Anthony Fauci said a coronavirus vaccine is safe, he believes him.
“People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I’ve worked with, I trust completely,” Obama said. “So, if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting COVID, absolutely, I’m going to take it.”
9:50 a.m. The Department of Defense released the first images of a COVID-19 vaccination record card and vaccination kits Wednesday.
Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition, a group which is supporting frontline workers who will administer vaccinations, said vaccination cards will be used as the “simplest” way to keep track of COVID-19 shots.
Vaccination clinics will also be reporting to their state immunization registries what vaccine was given, so that, for example, an entity could run a query if it didn’t know where a patient got a first dose.
9:27 a.m. On Wednesday, the U.S. recorded over 3,100 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, and the number of Americans hospitalized with the virus has eclipsed 100,000 for the first time and new cases are topping 200,000 a day.
The previous record was 2,603 deaths on April 15 when the New York metropolitan area was the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak. The U.S. recorded 3,157 deaths on Wednesday, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That’s more than the number of people killed on 9/11.
Health authorities had warned that the numbers could fluctuate strongly before and after Thanksgiving, as they often do around holidays and weekends, when because of reporting delays, figures often drop, then rise sharply a few days later as state and local agencies catch up with the backlog.
— The Associated Press
9:16 a.m. There is high demand for people certified to provide medical technical and therapeutic support in the Texas Medical Center.
Allied healthcare professionals, which include medical assistants, anesthesiologists, clinical laboratory technicians, radiologists and paramedics, among other roles, are in high demand to alleviate some of the burden on doctors and nurses, said Dr. Himesh Lakhlani, president of the College of Healthcare Professions’ new Astrodome Campus.
Certifications in allied health fields takes about nine months. The new Astrodome campus will graduate about 350 students each semester.
— Hannah Dellinger
7:45 a.m. Texas’s COVID-19 positivity rate on Wednesday reached its highest level since early August at 14.35 percent, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of state data.
That number is up from Tuesday’s 12.72 percent.
Meanwhile, Texas saw another 14,626 COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to1,258,011. Another 216 newly reported deaths makes a total of 22,191 statewide.
The statewide seven-day average for new cases is 15240.71 Wednesday, down from Tuesday’s 16,768.
The Houston region’s case count is 270,574, up 2,305 from Tuesday. Harris County reported 962 new cases Wednesday, 59 of which were more than 14 days old, and is now at 193,089 cases total. There were 17 newly reported deaths in the Houston region Wednesday, making the death toll 4,070.
Statewide, there were 9,109 patients hospitalized for lab-confirmed COVID-19, up from Tuesday’s 9,047.
– Stephanie Lamm