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Coronavirus in Texas

Coronavirus in Texas 3/29: Harris County jail inmate tests positive

Our staff is closely tracking developments on the new coronavirus in Texas. Check here for updates.

Shuttered businesses in downtown Austin during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus in Texas

As cases of the new strain of coronavirus grow worldwide, The Texas Tribune will continue to cover developments in Texas and nationally so our audience can stay as safe and informed as possible. Check back here for up-to-the-minute news, and visit our explainer on the coronavirus for essential information, including the number of cases in Texas and things everyone should know about the virus.

 More in this series 

Sunday's biggest developments

  • Harris County jail reports its first case
  • Texas is reporting more than 2,500 coronavirus cases

Harris County jail inmate tests positive

[1:50 p.m.] A 39-year-old inmate in the Harris County jail has tested positive for the new coronavirus, marking the first case there, the county sheriff’s office announced Sunday. The inmate, who was booked into jail March 17 after being arrested for a parole violation, was placed into quarantine March 26 when a health assessment showed he had a high temperature.

Some 30 inmates in the jail are showing “symptoms consistent with COVID-19.” Roughly 500 inmates who may have been exposed to the virus but are not showing symptoms are in quarantine, the sheriff’s office said in a release Sunday.

Inmates are at a particularly high risk for contracting and spreading the virus given the close quarters and unsanitary conditions in jails and prisons. The virus has already begun to spread in Texas lockups.

As of Saturday, 11 people — one detention service officer and 10 inmates — in the Dallas County jail had tested positive for the virus. — Emma Platoff

Texas reports 500 more coronavirus cases

[1:40 p.m.] Texas reported 500 more cases of the new coronavirus Sunday, bringing the total number of known cases to 2,552. Nearly half of the state's 254 counties have reported at least one case.

The state records 445 cases in Harris County — an increase of 94% from the number of cases in the county Saturday. Dallas County saw an additional 72 cases, which is an increase of around 20%.

There were seven more deaths reported in Texas for a total of 34. Dallas County reported two additional deaths. Harris County, Denton County, Brazos County, Williamson County and Van Zandt County reported one additional death each.

As of Sunday, 25,483 tests have been conducted in Texas. This is an increase of 223 tests from Saturday's total. The Tribune reported Saturday that many who have gotten tested are waiting as long as 10 days for results. — Mandi Cai

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