The Latest: Texas virus death toll rises above 25,000

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Christmas cards and costumes are displayed in the window at Mid Central Printing & Mailing store in Wilmette, Ill., Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Isolated by the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are sending more Christmas and holiday cards to stay in touch this year. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

HOUSTON — Texas on Saturday surpassed 25,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the second-highest total in the country.

State health officials reported 272 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing Texas’ death toll to 25,226.

Cases of COVID-19 and virus-related hospitalizations continue to rise in the state. On Saturday, the state reported 9,796 people hospitalized with the virus, an increase of nearly 23% over the last month.

Officials reported 12,914 new cases on Saturday. That comes two days after the state set its one-day record of new cases — 16,864 — on Thursday.

The increase in cases and hospitalizations comes as state health officials announced Friday that Texas will receive 620,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines over the next week. More than 224,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been delivered in Texas.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

The United States reached a record of nearly a quarter million coronavirus cases reported in 24 hours. An additional 2,814 people died nationwide, pushing the death toll to more than 313,000. Some areas of California are “just right at that cusp of getting overrun,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.