AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As Texas braced for Hurricane Laura, state officials said there were 229 newly reported deaths from the coronavirus and 5,045 newly reported cases. As people evacuated from the upper Texas coast on Wednesday, emergency officials have been urging them to take safeguards against the virus as well. Laura strengthened Wednesday into a Category 4 hurricane, which can cause damage so catastrophic that power outages may last for months in places. The number of COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals has continued to drop and stood at 4,806 patients Wednesday.
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