AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced Wednesday night, Dec. 9, he has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be quarantining at his ranch.

“Friends, I just got news that I have tested positive for COVID-19, and as a result, will be quarantining at my ranch,” Miller said in a statement on Twitter. “Not feeling my best, but I’ve survived rodeo injuries, broken bones, hip, double knee and shoulder surgery, west nile virus and cancer, and I’m going to beat this too. Thank you for your prayers and support, and please continue to pray for our first responders, doctors, nurses and health care workers, especially in our rural areas. Together, we’ll make it through this.”

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (credit: Texas Ag. Commission)

Miller was among Texas Republican leaders who staged a protest outside the Governor’s Mansion in October to blast Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders, including a continued statewide mask mandate and lockdowns.

Meantime, for a second day this week, hospitalizations of people with the coronavirus in Texas topped 9,000, state health officials said Wednesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said 9,053 were hospitalized Wednesday.

The state reported 9,028 hospitalizations the day before.

Last week marked the first time Texas surpassed a daily count of 9,000 hospitalizations since a deadly summer outbreak.

Texas officials reported 10,930 new coronavirus cases Wednesday after reporting 15,103 a day earlier.

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Texas has reported more than 1.2 million cases since the pandemic began.

The true number of infections in Texas is likely higher because many haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say the death toll in Texas is at more than 23,000, the second highest in the country.

There were 575.3 new cases per 100,000 people in Texas over the past two weeks, which ranks 40th in the country for new cases per capita, according to Johns Hopkins.

One in every 300 people in Texas tested positive in the past week.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks.

But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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