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Coronavirus in Texas

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.

A test tube with 2019-nCoV on the label on January 29, 2020.

Coronavirus in Texas

As the coronavirus spreads across the state, The Texas Tribune is covering the most important health, economic and breaking developments that affect Texans, every day. Watch our Texas unemployment tracker, use our explainer on the coronavirus for essential information, and visit our map tracker for the number of cases, deaths and tests in Texas.

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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.

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