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Texas Officials Link Man’s Death To Coronavirus, First Such Case In State

The man, in his late 90s, had symptoms consistent with the new coronavirus, and a test later came back positive for COVID-19, officials said.


REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
As of Monday, at least 69 cases of the new coronavirus have been reported in Texas.

Matagorda County officials reported Monday night that a man in his late 90s died the night before with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, making it the first known novel coronavirus-related death in Texas.

Hospital officials were notified Monday evening that the patient, a resident of Matagorda County, had tested positive, according to a Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center news release. The patient died at Matagorda Regional Medical Center.

Officials said the state has “launched an extensive investigation” into the case and that “they have informed the Matagorda County Hospital that evidence exists of a possible community link to the earlier positive case” in the county.

As of Monday, at least 69 cases of the virus have been reported in Texas. Those figures are expected to increase dramatically in the coming days as the state ramps up its testing capacity and as examples of community spread — which occurs when the source of infection is unknown — continue to surface.

“You’re going to see an exponential increase in the number of people testing positive on a daily basis,” Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference in San Antonio.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.