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Weekend report delays cited for light Texas COVID-19 totals

April 19, 2021 GMT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — State health officials are launching a $1.5 million radio and television ad campaign to promote the next phase of vaccinating Texans against COVID-19, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Monday.

The campaign will include commercials aimed at specific groups of Texans shown by research to be least likely to be vaccinated. Also, state health officials will have later this week the first of 22 parking lot pop-up events around Texas. The four-hour events hosted in Walmart parking lots through mid-May will feature a 16-foot video wall displaying facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

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The first three events will be Thursday in Austin, Friday in Houston, and Saturday in Beaumont, according to a statement from health officials.

Johns Hopkins University researchers said 35% of the state’s population had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 22% has been fully vaccinated.

Meantime, weekend report delays are being cited for depressed Texas COVID-19 totals. State health officials reported just 1,178 new COVID-19 cases and nine new deaths from the coronaviral illness Monday.

Those totals are down from 2,430 new cases and 65 new deaths on Saturday. Johns Hopkins University data also show they are significantly lower than seven-day rolling averages of 3,360 new daily cases and 52 new deaths daily.

“Monday is always our lowest day of the week since some jurisdictions don’t report on Sundays or over the weekend at all,” said Chris Van Deusen, State Health Services spokesman. “It’s quite a bit lower than last Monday, but you can’t judge by just one day.”