A novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 525,000 people worldwide.
More than 10.8 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.
The United States is the worst-affected country in the world, with more than 2.79 million diagnosed cases and at least 129,437 deaths.
Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates
6:10 a.m.: Some Texas hospitals at 100% capacity
Some people in Texas received a jarring alert on their phones Friday evening, saying hospitals were at capacity. The alert, sent to Hidalgo and Starr County residents, asked them to celebrate this holiday weekend “responsibly” by sheltering-in-place, avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, wearing a face mask and social distancing.
Hidalgo County and Starr County, which are located in the Rio Grande Valley, are home to more than 900,000 people. Hospitals in the region also put out statements that they have reached or are at critical capacity levels.
“Valley Baptist Health System is urging local residents to take all necessary precautions against COVID-19 as our hospitals are at a critical capacity level, like every other hospital across our region,” the organization said in a statement Friday. “Our entire team is working around the clock to manage this crisis situation.”
The health system CEO Manny Vela said their hospitals are now at “102% and 101% occupancy,” according to ABC News Texas affiliate KRGV.
Dr. Jose Vazquez, of the Starr County health authority, said Friday that every hospital in the Valley is full and that patients are being transported to other parts of Texas.
“There are no beds in the Valley, Vazquez said. “We are becoming New York,” Vazquez said, KRGV reported.
“Unfortunately, we find ourselves in difficult times, right smack in the middle of this difficult pandemic,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said in a statement Friday. “Americans have always risen to the top in hard times. We did it WWII, we did it in 9/11, and we’ll do it again today. All it requires is for us to take personal responsibility for our actions.”
Texas has more than 82,000 active COVID-19 cases, and Friday’s statewide test positivity rate was 13.32%. More than 7,300 coronavirus patients are hospitalized across the state. That number was at 6,900 on Thursday.
States reported over 57,000 new cases Friday across the U.S., which was another record day for cases, the third this week. There were 721,000 new tests Friday, a huge jump and the country’s first day of more than 700,000 tests. There were 635 reported deaths Friday, according to analysis from the COVID Tracking Project.