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Texas reported no deaths from coronavirus for the first time in more than a year as the state’s ramped-up vaccine rollout has slashed new infections, hospitalizations and fatalities from the virus.
Along with no deaths, Texas counted only 624 new confirmed infections on Wednesday according to state data, with a seven-day average of 2,072 new cases per day.
The 12.18% positivity rate for the state is also the lowest since the pandemic began, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
It’s a victory for the state that early this year counted nearly 30,000 new cases and upward of 400 deaths a day during the worst of Texas’ coronavirus outbreak.
Deaths began to taper down in March, as vaccine eligibility was gradually expanded to all residents age 18 and older.
To date, 41% of Texans have received at least one vaccine dose, and nearly one in three are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, according to state data.
Texas’ vaccine rollout is still lagging behind other states, and ranks 40 out of 50 for states with the highest share of vaccinated residents.
Just six months ago, Texas was home to one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country and the first state to surpass a million confirmed infections. Nearly 3 million Texans have tested positive for coronavirus, and more than 50,000 have died, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. Texas’ confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths have all fallen even after Abbott lifted Texas’ coronavirus restrictions in March, including mandated masks and capacity limits, a move President Joe Biden slammed as “neanderthal thinking.” Epidemiologists at the time worried it would cause a jump in new cases. The first coronavirus death in the state was confirmed March 17, 2020.