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

8:30 a.m.: The latest Houston, Texas numbers 

As of Tuesday evening, the state’s positive test rate reached a record high of 23.97 percent, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of state data. A drop in the average number of viral tests has contributed to the increase in the state’s positive test rate.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in Texas increased by 1.65 percent or 8,402 cases to 516,686 cases total, the highest increase in new cases since last Wednesday and the 20th highest day for new cases since the pandemic began. The state added 239 new deaths and is now at 9,165 deaths total. This marks the eighth-highest day for newly reported deaths.

The Houston region saw a 1.32 percent increase in new cases and is now at 124,272 cases total. The region’s death count increased by 43 and is now at 2,129. Harris County reported 942 new cases and is now at 87,505 cases total.

ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: A Katy nursing home staffer tested positive for new coronavirus. Then 77 residents did, too.

In other headlines: Texas bar owners are fighting to stay afloat amid state shutdown orders by calling out local leaders in a cry for help.

Some have gone so far as to file lawsuits, calling Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to re-close down bars unconstitutional, irrational and unjust, the Houston Chronicle reported. 

NOTE: The numbers included in this report represent a one-day change in data from Monday, August 10 through Tuesday, August 11. 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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