Texas has surpassed 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time, crossing a sobering milestone rarely seen since the pandemic first hit the US in March.
The record high of 10,028 new cases in Texas served as another alarming new measure of the swift resurgence of COVID-19 nationwide and the failures of the country's response.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas aggressively began one of America's fastest reopenings in May but has begun reversing course in recent weeks, ordering bars closed and mandating face coverings.
New York and Florida are the only other states to record more than 10,000 new cases in a single day.
New York hit that grim total back in April, when New York City hospitals were overwhelmed and hundreds of people were dying every day. Florida topped 10,000 confirmed cases last week.
Tuesday's record mark in Texas partly reflects a lag in testing results from the Fourth of July weekend, when newly reported cases were far below what Texas has seen in recent weeks.
But Abbott said the numbers should still be "an alarm bell for everybody" who is sceptical about whether the virus is a threat.
"We have rapid spread of COVID-19 in the state of Texas right now," Abbott told San Antonio television station KENS.
Later in the interview, Abbott was noncommittal about whether he would attend his own party's convention next week in Houston, which the Texas GOP has remained bent on holding even as the mayor, doctors and businesses pressure the party to cancel.
Houston has emerged as one of the nation's hot zones in the pandemic. However, Republican activists, some of whom have called the fears overblown, have resolved to press forward with the indoor three-day convention.
Mayors in some of the biggest cities in the state and US - including Austin, San Antonio and Houston - have warned that hospitals could soon become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
Deaths remain lower in Texas compared to other big states. As of Tuesday, Texas has confirmed that at least 2715 people have died due to COVID-19.
Australian Associated Press