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More coronavirus reported in PA, Nederland, Port Neches; state numbers set record

Novel coronavirus infections reached a record high for the third time in four days Friday in Texas, even as state officials continue to loosen restrictions on public activities.

Those numbers trickled down Mid- and South County, as well, as five new cases were reported, impacting Port Arthur, Nederland and Port Neches.

The City of Port Arthur Health Department received confirmation of three additional Port Arthur residents who tested positive for COVID-19. These individuals include two females between the age ranges of 35-40 and 65-70 and one male between the age range of 55-60.

This brings the total to 85 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Port Arthur.

The Port Arthur and Jefferson County Health Departments received confirmation of one additional Nederland resident who tested positive for coronavirus Friday — the individual is a female between the age ranges of 15-20.

This brings the total to 17 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nederland.

Health officials also said one additional Port Neches resident tested positive, a male between the age range of 45-50.

This brings the total to 10 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Port Neches.

For confidentiality purposes, the health departments are not releasing any additional information to identify these individuals.

On Thursday, a Groves resident tested positive, bringing the city’s total to 19.

Mid-County and South County now stand at 131.

On Friday, state health officials said 2,166 patients were in Texas hospitals with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, 13 more than Wednesday’s record.

Friday saw almost 2,100 new cases reported in Texas, bringing the total to 83,680. However, the true number is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Nineteen new deaths reported Friday from the disease brought the overall state death toll to 1,939.

The upward trend comes six weeks into Texas’ reopening that began in May, which kicked off one of the fastest reboots of daily life in the U.S, and as restaurants got permission to expand their dining rooms to nearly full capacity Friday.

While thousands of hospital beds remain available, officials are voicing concern.

Throughout the record-setting week in Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials have pointed out hotspots in rural counties with meatpacking plants and prisons but have not offered an explanation for rising caseloads elsewhere.

But on Wednesday, some big city officials and health experts readily linked the worsening numbers to businesses reopening and people growing more complacent with social distancing.

For most people, the 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.