is following the latest headlines on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Houston area.

Texas continues to break records for new COVID-19 cases and deaths and hospitals across the state are scrambling to find room for patients as ICU beds fill up.

Wednesday marked the seventh day in a row that state hospitals had fewer than 1,000 ICU beds available, according to a Houston Chronicle data analysis. As of Wednesday evening, there were 10,471 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Texas hospitals.

From Tuesday to Wednesday, confirmed new cases increased by 10,975 cases, or 3.90 percent, to a total of 292,060 new cases statewide. Texas reported 105 new deaths; the state death count is now at 3,378. Wednesday broke Tuesday's records and marked the highest day for new cases and third-highest day for new deaths since the pandemic began. 

 The rolling average of viral tests conducted is now at an all-time high of 54,784 and 16.81 percent of all Texans tested yesterday tested positive for the virus, a decrease from the 16.89 percent rate from the day before.

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As of Wednesday evening, there are 10,586 beds, including 853 ICU beds, left available in the state. There are 5,059 ventilators available.

In the Houston region, new cases from Tuesday to Wednesday increased by 3.79 percent, or 2,624 cases, to a total of 71,899. The region reported 21 new deaths yesterday and is now at 697 deaths in total. Harris County saw a 2.74 percent increase in new cases, or 1,343 new cases, and is now at 50,370 cases total.

NOTE: The numbers included in this report represent a one-day change in confirmed cases from Tuesday, July 14 through Wednesday, July 15. It is still unclear how many of the state's new cases can be attributed to jail inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.