Texas becomes first U.S. state to exceed 1 million coronavirus cases

(Reuters) – Texas became the first state to surpass a million coronavirus cases in the United States on Saturday, as the country battled a third wave of new infections and recorded over 100,000 infections three times in less than a week.

In Texas, the surge in new cases in the past week came mainly from Harris, Dallas and El Paso counties, based on a Reuters tally. The surge is straining medical facilities, with the city of El Paso converting a convention center into a field hospital.

If Texas were a country, it would be the tenth most affected in the world for total COVID-19 cases. The state added about 6,800 new cases a day in the past week on average, based on a Reuters tally.

Texas, which accounts for over 10% of total U.S. cases, reported the largest number of new cases in the United States last week and was followed by the state of Illinois, which has half as many people.

California, which was the first U.S. state to surpass 600,000 cases of COVID-19 back in August, is currently just short of Texas in the number of infections and deaths.

The most populous U.S. state has added roughly 30,000 cases in the last seven days, and has reported over 950,000 cases of coronavirus.

Los Angeles County in California, which carries 33% of the state’s caseload, has so far registered the highest number of deaths at 7,118 as of Nov. 5.

With the holiday season and cold weather fast approaching, health officials have been raising an alarm to contain the spike in cases in the last few weeks.

The United States is the worst affected country in the world, with over to 9.8 million cases reported and over 230,000 deaths.