Area Numbers Show Mixed Results
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – The number of active COVID-19 cases in East Texas saw a slight increase this week. Even though everyone wishes the virus would disappear, it doesn’t appear it’s going away any time soon as the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) reported another 144 fatalities related to the virus on Friday, Sept. 11.
This week, on Sept. 11, Houston County Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Dickey reported there were 23 active cases in the county with an additional 203 people who have recovered. There have also been five reported deaths. Last week, there were 24 active cases and four deaths.
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, Sept. 11, Anderson County had a total of 541 active cases. There have also been 348 recoveries and 13 reported deaths. Last week there were 469 active cases and 11 deaths.
On Tuesday, March 31, it was reported 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 Sept. 11 showed: Angelina – 204, up from 175 last week; Cherokee – 583, up from 226 last week; Freestone – 54, down from 200 last week; Henderson – 420, up from 123 last week; Leon – 41, down from 46 last week; Madison – 0, down from 18 last week; Trinity – 1, down from 16 last week; and Walker – 256, down from 418.
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 Sept. 11, 653,356 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported and 13,997 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 Sept. 11 update showed 5,947,977 Coronavirus tests had been administered with 3,465 current hospitalizations, down from 3,889 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 568,067 recoveries.
Since May 1, when the governor began reopening the state, until Sept. 11, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 29,229 to 653,356 for an increase of 624,127. The number of Texans who suffered COVID-19 related deaths has gone from 816 on May 1 to 13,997 on Sept. 11, an increase of 13,181. A Newsweek article published on July 29 stated – at that time – Texans were 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 Thursday, Sept. 10, the positivity rate was 6.9%, a decrease from last week’s rate of 9.74% and the lowest since June 10.
Moving to the national stage, 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 Sept. 11, the number of positive cases reported was 6,430,860 – an increase of 239,566 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 Sept. 11, the CSSE reported 192,616 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death, an increase of 5,132 deaths from last week.
The organizations also reported 2,403,511 patients have recovered in the US.
Worldwide, on Sept. 11, as of 2:28 pm, there were 28,287,928 (last-week – 26,437,886) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 911,591 (last week – 871,205) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 19,052,460 (last week –17,573,533) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.