HOUSTON — The Texas Department of State Health Services announced 7,018 new COVID-19 cases and 313 newly reported deaths on Friday.
Harris County leads the state with 89,425 total cases. Second is Dallas County with 56,428.
Harris County also leads the state with 1,771 deaths. Second is Bexar County with 865.
In the last seven days (Aug. 8 to Aug. 14), the state averaged 6,454 new cases a day. The previous seven days (Aug.1 to Aug.7), the state averaged 7,730 cases a day.
The good news? The average daily cases are down, but so is the average number of tests performed. Public health officials worry fewer tests, in essence, hide the true prevalence of the virus.
“The primary reason why cases of COVID are going down in Texas is because people are adopting the process of wearing a mask when they go out, staying at home if at all possible, maintaining safe distance from others, and sanitizing their hands," Gov. Abbott said.
The city of Houston reported 438 new COVID-19 cases and 12 newly reported deaths on Friday. Over the past seven days (Aug. 8 to Aug. 14), the city averaged almost 500 new cases a day (499.857). The previous seven days (Aug. 1 to Aug. 7), the city averaged 905 new cases a day.
Again, cases are down, but so are the average number of people getting tested each day.
“We don’t want people to misinterpret the good news that our positivity rate is going down, that we’re seeing lower of number of cases – that does not mean we’re out of the woods," said Porifirio Villarreal, a spokesperson for the Houston Health Department.
On Wednesday, Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse said that in an ideal world, though impractical, he admitted, everyone would get tested once a week to help public health experts get a clear picture of how widespread the virus is, and also to help the contact tracing program.
In Houston and Harris County combined, the health departments report milestones on Friday: more than 90,000 (90,574) confirmed cases since the pandemic began, and more than 1,000 (1,012) deaths.
Harris County outside the city of Houston reported 711 new cases and 15 newly reported deaths, marking the third day of at least 14 deaths newly reported in a single day. Friday's total of 15 tied the record set on Thursday.
Gov. Abbott urged Texans to keep up their healthy habits.
“If you get COVID fatigue and let your guard down, COVID is going to spread very rapidly," Gov. Abbott said.