Statewide Numbers Show Slight Increase
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – While the number of active COVID-19 cases around the area nation has shown a slight drop in recent weeks, as the fall season begins, the numbers in East Texas are starting to climb once again.
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 97 fatalities related to the virus on Friday, Sept. 25.
This week, on Sept. 25, Houston County Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Dickey reported there were 11 active cases in the county with an additional 227 people who have recovered. There have also been five reported deaths. Last week, there were 19 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 Thursday, Sept. 24, Anderson County had a total of 588 active cases. There have also been 427 recoveries and 21 reported deaths. Last week there were 555 active cases and 15 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. 25, showed: Angelina – 271, up from 267 last week; Cherokee – 665, up from 634 last week; Freestone – 53, down from 56 last week; Henderson – 212, up from 182 last week; Leon – 39, up from 32 last week; Madison – 22, down from 26 last week; Trinity – 1, the same as last week; and Walker – 168, down from 189.
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. 25, 728,552 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported and 15,364 Texans have suffered a COVID-19 related death. Furthermore, 252 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. On Thursday, Sept. 17, the governor further relaxed restrictions on businesses and lifted certain restrictions on nursing home visits.
The Sept. 25 update showed 5,913,449 total Coronavirus tests had been administered with 3,221 current hospitalizations, down from 3,465 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 646,143 recoveries.
Since May 1, when the governor began reopening the state, until Sept. 25, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 29,229 to 728,552 for an increase of 699,323. The number of Texans who suffered COVID-19 related deaths has gone from 816 on May 1 to 15,364 on Sept. 18, an increase of 14,548. 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. 24, the positivity rate was 7.46%, an increase from last week’s rate of 7.26%.
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. 25, the number of positive cases reported was 7,005,746 – an increase of 300,632 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. Earlier this week, it was reported over 200,000 US residents had perished due to the virus and by Sept. 25, the CSSE reported 203,240 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death, an increase of 5,043 deaths from last week.
The organizations also reported 2,710,183 patients have recovered in the US.
Worldwide, on Sept. 25, as of 2:23 pm, there were 32,381,243 (last-week – 30,306,469) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 985,104 (last week – 948,147) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 22,285,437 (last week – 20,626,515) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.