Area Numbers Drop
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – This week, the number of active COVID-19 cases in East Texas saw a slight decline. However, as much as everyone wishes the virus would disappear, it’s not going away any time as the state of Texas reported another 258 fatalities related to the virus on Friday, Aug. 21.
This week, on Aug. 21, Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Dickey reported there were 19 active cases in the county with an additional 163 people who had recovered. There have also been four reported deaths. Last week, there were 41 active cases.
The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Houston County on April 17, when it was learned three individuals had tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, in Anderson County, County Judge Robert Johnston announced on Friday Aug. 21, Anderson County reported 690 people had tested positive for the virus with 273 recoveries, for a total of 406 active cases. There have also been 11 reported deaths. Last week there were 380 active cases.
On Tuesday, March 31 that Anderson County had its first confirmed case of the virus.
The number of active cases per county – for those counties surrounding Houston and Anderson Counties – as of Aug. 21 showed: Angelina – 129, down from 960 last week; Cherokee – 441, up from 322 last week; Freestone – 60, up from 48 last week; Henderson – 501, up from 426 last week; Leon – 26, up from 23 last week; Madison – 127, down from 150 last week; Trinity – 8, down from 35 last week; and Walker – 380, down from 564.
The Messenger first started tracking the spread of the virus in the East Texas area on Wednesday, March 25. At that time, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) 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 Aug. 21, 567,580 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported and 11,051 Texans have suffered a COVID-19 related death. Furthermore, 251 out of 254 – or 99% of counties in the state of Texas – now have at least one active case of COVID-19.
After issuing a stay-at-home executive order on April 2, less than a month later – on May 1 – Gov. Gregg Abbott began to open the state of Texas back up. Unfortunately, the spread of the virus does not appear to have slowed down and on Wednesday, July 15, the state of Texas reported the largest single-day spike of new cases with 10,791.
The Aug. 21 update showed 4,580,026 Coronavirus tests had been administered with 5,566 current hospitalizations, down from 6,632 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 438,825 recoveries.
Since May 1, when the governor began reopening the state, until Aug. 21, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 29,229 to 567,580 for an increase of 538,351. The number of Texans who suffered COVID-19 related deaths has gone from 816 on May 1 to 11,051 on Aug. 21, an increase of 10,235. A Newsweek article published on July 29 stated, “Texans are now dying every six minutes and 16 seconds from the coronavirus.”
Another metric touted by state officials has been the positivity rate. The positivity rate is found by dividing the number of new cases (previous 7 days) by the number of new test results (previous 7 days).
On Friday, Aug. 21, the positivity rate was 14.38%, a decrease from last week’s rate of 16.06%
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.
By early June, the number of positive COVID-19 cases had eclipsed the 2 million mark and on Aug. 21, the number of positive cases reported was 5,615,998 5,258,056, an increase of 357,942 from the previous week.
On April 17, the number of Coronavirus related deaths in the US stood 36,773. By late May, a grim milestone was reached as the death toll in the US surpassed the 100,000 mark. By Aug. 21, the CSSE reported 175,204 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death, an increase of 7,906 deaths from last week.
The organizations also reported 1,946,866 patients have recovered in the US.
Worldwide, on Aug. 21, as of 4:28 pm, there were 22,803,344 (last-week – 20,967,027) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 796,095 (last week – 760,461) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 14,596,332 (last week – 13,035,989) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.