More than 10,000 virus patients remain in Texas hospitals

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas continued to report more than 10,000 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus Monday as the state tries containing the spread in what has become one of America’s biggest hot zones.

As Republican Gov. Greg Abbott warns that the worst is yet to come in Texas, state health officials reported more than 40 new deaths and 5,600 new cases following what had been the deadliest week of the pandemic in the state. There is typically a decline in numbers following a weekend, when reporting from counties is slower.

The true number of cases is likely far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

County leaders in the hard-hit Rio Grande Valley on Monday asked Abbott to give them broader emergency powers as hospitals exceed capacity. Top officials in Houston have also called for stay-at-home orders, while Abbott has said putting Texas back on lockdown is a last resort.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.