HOUSTON — Texas' Department of State Health Services reported 8,839 new COVID-19 cases and 295 newly reported deaths on Friday.
The 295 deaths bring Texas' total coronavirus deaths to 6,569. The state entered July at 3,254 deaths, meaning deaths more than doubled in the entire state in July alone. The 3,315 deaths reported in July are more than all the other months of the pandemic combined.
Texas entered July with 168,062 reported cases. It ended July with 420,946 cases, an increase of 252,884 in the month of July alone. In July, the state reported more new cases of coronavirus than all the other months of the pandemic combined.
Texas passed New York state on Friday for total COVID-19 cases reported, making Texas third in the country for most cases behind California and Florida. New York reported a total of 415,014 cases Friday; Texas reported a total 420,946.
The state's positivity rate ended the month at 12.12 percent. It began the month at 13.32 percent, and reached an all-time high of 17.43 percent on July 16.
A 12 percent positivity rate means of every nine people tested, more than one tests positive.
Testing statewide also increased significantly in July: the state performed 1.7 million viral tests, roughly 46 percent of the 3,669,752 total viral tests performed statewide since the pandemic began.
In July, the city of Houston reported 26,678 new cases, more than June (12,886), May (3,793), April (3,236), and March (377) combined.
The city also reported 226 deaths in July, more than June (95), May (73), April (52), March (4) combined.
The city's positivity rate is about 23 percent, meaning of every five people tested, at least one person tests positive.
“There are a little bit of mixed messages going on," said Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse, referencing the dropping hospitalizations in the Texas Medical Center. "We’re trying to be truthful and transparent and I want to make sure the public understands the virus is still out there, it’s still very active. This is not the time to drop our guard.”