Texas Becomes First State in the U.S. to Surpass 1 Million Coronavirus Cases

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 10,865 new COVID-19 cases and 94 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday

covid texas
Cars wait in line to get into a COVID-19 testing site in Houston, Texas, on July 9, 2020. Photo: Mark Felix/getty images

More than a million people in Texas have contracted the novel coronavirus amid the ongoing pandemic.

As of Tuesday, there have been at least 1,037,792 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Lone Star State, making it the first state in the U.S. to hit the 1 million cases, according to the databases from the New York Times and John Hopkins University.

The grim milestone means that Texas has now seen more coronavirus cases than the entire country of Italy, which was considered a COVID-19 hotspot before the nation entered into a lockdown.

According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services' COVID-19 dashboard, the state reported 10,865 new COVID-19 cases and 94 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday. The dashboard estimates that there are currently 132,146 active coronavirus cases and 826,116 recoveries from the virus.

The department has reported 18,863 coronavirus-related fatalities since the outbreak in the U.S.

U.S. health experts predict that the death toll within the country will only continue to rise.

A recent model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine showed that the country is at risk of possibly seeing at least 415,000 deaths from COVID-19 by January.

And as winter and flu season looms in the Northern Hemisphere, countries in North America, Europe and Central Asia are "facing the prospect of a deadly December," IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray previously warned.

"The worst is yet to come," he said, PEOPLE previously reported.

Data shows that minorities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that factors include discrimination, health-care access, gaps in education and income, housing and occupation.

While there is still much unknown about COVID-19, the World Health Organization says that evidence shows the virus most commonly spreads through direct, indirect or close contact with an infected person's saliva, respiratory secretions or secretion droplets, which are released from the mouth or nose by coughing, sneezing, speaking, etc.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the WHO recommends staying at least one meter or more than three feet away from other people, frequent washing of hands, and wearing a mask when distancing is not possible.

The U.S. recently broke its own record of daily coronavirus cases, reporting more than 132,700 new COVID-19 cases in a single day on Friday.

As of Tuesday, more than 10,325,000 people in the United States have been infected with COVID-19 and the nation has seen at least 240,100 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the New York Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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