AUSTIN, Texas - Texas state health officials reported 295 additional COVID-19 deaths Friday, bringing the statewide virus death toll to 6,569.
The latest deaths occurred over the past week or more, as state health officials are now relying on death certificates instead of local health reports to record deaths.
The Texas Department of State Health Services also announced 8,839 new cases, bringing the statewide tally to 420,946.
The number of new cases in Texas appear to have plateaued over the last two weeks, which Gov. Greg Abbott has said is a promising sign that his statewide mask order is working.
And the percentage of positive cases has declined, hovering around 12% over the last few days. Abbott has said anything over 10% would be cause for concern.
Hospitalizations rose slightly Friday, with 9,336 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals.
There are 11,412 available hospital beds and 1,112 intensive care unit beds available statewide, according to the health agency.
On Friday, the health agency reported that Latino Texans make up nearly half of all coronavirus-related deaths. Roughly 40% of Texans are Latino, according to the Census Bureau.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Friday that it will not post new COVID-19 data Sunday because of an upgrade to its system that processes electronic lab reports.
Sunday's data will be posted with Monday's data update, the agency said.
Meanwhile, the first known case of the coronavirus among a member of the Texas Legislature was confirmed by The Texas Tribune on Friday, after state Rep. Tony Tinderholdt, a Republican, said he is recovering from a serious case of COVID-19.
Tinderholt told the Tribune that he was hospitalized last week after testing positive for the coronavirus. His wife and two of his children also tested positive.
"I truly thought last Friday was gonna be my last," Tinderholt told the Tribune.
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