Weekly Update on Spread of Coronavirus

Houston County Reports Six Cases, Anderson County Has 19

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – After avoiding the Coronavirus since the outbreak began, last Friday, April 17, it was reported Houston County had three confirmed cases of COV

According to a post on the city of Crockett’s official Facebook page, “As of this afternoon, April 17, 2020, the City of Crockett received news from Crockett Medical Center that there are three Houston County residents that tested positive for COVID-19. We just now received the update that these tests were confirmed by a CDC lab, however this has not yet been verified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS).”

On April 22, the number of positive cases in Houston County was updated to six. As of Friday, April 24 at 1:30 pm, the number remained the same.

Meanwhile, in Anderson County the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had increased from 14 on Tuesday, April 21 to 19 on Saturday, April 25. The numbers reflected 18 cases in Palestine and one in Elkhart, according to the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

The Messenger first started tracking the spread of the virus in the East Texas area on Wednesday, March 25. At that time, the TxDSHS reported there were 13,325 COVID-19 tests which had been administered. The TDHHS further reported 974 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease and 12 deaths in the Lone Star State.

Also on that Wednesday, the TxDSHS indicated 82 out of 254 counties in the state of Texas had at least one confirmed case of COVID-19.

Of those counties – as of March 25 – the only county with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus bordering Houston or Anderson County was Walker County. 

By Friday, March 27, the TxDSHS updated the figures to show there had been 23,666 COVID-19 tests administered. Of those tests, 1,731 cases have been confirmed as positive for the virus. The TxDSHS update further indicated the Coronavirus had caused 23 deaths in the state of Texas.

Of the 254 Texas counties, on Friday March 27, the TxDSHS also reported 105 now have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. Listed among the 13 new counties was Cherokee County, which borders both Houston and Anderson Counties.

Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston announced on Tuesday, March 31 that Anderson County had its first confirmed case of the virus. 

A press release from the city of Palestine stated as of April 16, Anderson County had six confirmed cases. Two cases had been identified as travel-acquired cases while three cases had been identified as exposure in a workplace. The source for the sixth case was yet to be determined. All six of the confirmed cases in Anderson County were in home isolation under the care of a physician. 

By Friday, April 3, 55,764 tests had been administered in Texas. Of those tests, 5,330 tested positive. The TxDSHS also reported 90 deaths attributed to the Coronavirus. Furthermore, nearly 58 percent of all counties had at least one reported case.

On Thursday, April 9, the TxDSHS indicated 106,134 tests had been administered which resulted in 10,230 people testing positive for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive, 1,439 people had been hospitalized.

The April 9 update also reported 12 more people had perished, bringing the total to 199. Also, the TxDSHS has reported 170 counties with at least one case of the Coronavirus, or approximately 67 percent of all 254 Texas counties. 

The numbers have continued to grow and by Friday, April 17 at 11:45 am, 169,536 tests had been administered with 17,371 individuals testing positive for the Coronavirus. Of those who tested positive, the TxDSHS reports 1,522 people have been hospitalized.

The April 17 update also showed deaths associated with the virus had more than doubled over the week going from 199 to 428.

The updated case count on Friday, April 24 showed the virus continuing to spread across Texas. The TxDSHS website indicated 242,547 tests had been administered with 22,806 people testing positive for the virus. Of those who tested positive, 1,674 people had been hospitalized. 

Since last week, the number of counties with at least one case has gone from 192 to 204 counties or approximately 80 percent of all 254 Texas counties. 

In addition, the April 24 update reported the number of people who have perished because of the Coronavirus had risen from 428 to 593.  

A recent feature on the TxDSHS website is a report on hospitals. As of April 9, the TxDSHS reported the state of Texas had a total of 50,936 beds. Of the nearly 51,000 beds only 20,488 are available, including 2,248 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. The TxDSHS also reported the state of Texas has 6,361 available ventilators.

By April 17, the numbers had increased slightly as the TxDSHS reported the state of Texas had a total of 51,409 beds. Of the nearly 52,000 beds only 21,247 were available, including 2,543 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. The TxDSHS also reported the state of Texas has 6,971 available ventilators.

According to the TxDSHS website there are 24 Trauma Service Areas (TSA) in the state of Texas. Houston and Anderson Counties are located in TSA G. The 2019 Population Estimate in TSA G was 970,139.

The April 17 numbers showed there are 1,731 total hospital beds in the area with 736 available. Of those 736 beds, there are 103 ICU beds along with 195 available ventilators. Currently, there are 43 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in the area hospitals.

On April 24, the numbers had increased once again. The TxDSHS reported the state of Texas had a total of 55,656 beds. Of the nearly 56,000 beds only 20,903 are available, including 2,278 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. The TxDSHS also reported the state of Texas has 6,233 available ventilators.

As you can see, the COVID-19 disease is spreading at an alarming rate in Texas. In the span of a month – from Wednesday, March 25 until Friday April 24 – the number of confirmed cases has jumped from 974 to 22,806 – an increase of 21,832 cases. From Wednesday, March 25 through Friday, April 24, deaths attributed to COVID-19 have risen from 12 to 593.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), as of April 17, across the US there were 699,105 cases of COVID-19 up from 432,596 on April 9.

A week later, the numbers had risen to 884,004 cases of COVID-19, up 184,899 from the 699,105 the week before. Since April 9, the number of positive cases across the nation has more than doubled.    

On April 9 the number of Coronavirus related deaths in the US stood at 14,831. By Friday, April 17, the death toll stood at 36,773 deaths. A week later, the number of dead had increased to 51,107. The organizations also reported 90,338 patients have recovered. 

Worldwide, on April 24 as of 1:30 pm, there were 2,780,094 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 194,664 deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 765,371 patients have recovered from the disease. 

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].   

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