Texas breaks record with nearly 7,000 new coronavirus cases

Texas officials announced nearly 7,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, breaking the state's record for the total number of confirmed cases in one day.

The new daily record of 6,975 cases sits far higher than the state's previous record of around 6,000 cases.

The news comes as trend lines indicate that the rate of new infections in the state is sharply accelerating even as other hot spots such as New York have seen levels of new cases receding.

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State officials have struggled to explain the sharp rise in cases, with Gov. Greg Abbott (R) explaining in a recent interview that Texas should have slowed efforts to reopen some businesses, including bars.

“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting,” he told KVIA in El Paso.

The state moved to close bars once again last week and ordered restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity.

"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said in a statement last week.

"The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part," he added.