Area Numbers Show Slight Increase
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – Just as the number of active COVID-19 cases around the nation has shown a slight increase in recent weeks, as autumn settles in, the area numbers are also starting to show an incline.
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 98 fatalities related to the virus on Friday, Oct. 9.
This week, on Oct. 6 – the most recent date of reporting – Houston County Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Dickey reported there were 13 active cases in the county with an additional 238 people who have recovered. There have also been five reported deaths. Last week, there were nine 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 Oct. 6, Anderson County had a total of 568 active cases. There have also been 546 recoveries and 23 reported deaths. Last week there were 565 active cases and 21 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 Oct. 9, showed: Angelina – 103, up from 102 last week; Cherokee – 698, up from 686 last week; Freestone – 25, up from 23 last week; Henderson – 290, up from 212 last week; Leon – 47, up from 35 last week; Madison – 23, up from 0 last week; Trinity – 1, the same as last week; and Walker – 102, up from 101.
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 Oct. 9, 785,830 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported and 16,432 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 Oct. 9 update showed 6,746,030 total Coronavirus tests had been administered with 3,593 current hospitalizations, up from 3,190 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 698,481 recoveries.
Since May 1, when the governor began reopening the state, until Oct. 9, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 29,229 to 758,830 for an increase of 729,601. The number of Texans who suffered COVID-19 related deaths has gone from 816 on May 1 to 16,432 on Oct. 9, an increase of 15,616. 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, Oct. 8, the positivity rate was 8.56%, an increase from last week’s rate of 5.76%.
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 Oct. 9, the number of positive cases reported was 7,656,064 – an increase of 363,642 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. Two weeks ago, it was reported over 200,000 US residents had perished due to the virus and by Oct. 9, the CSSE reported 213,430 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death, an increase of 5,362 deaths from last week.
The organizations also reported 3,021,252 patients have recovered in the US.
Worldwide, on Oct. 9, as of 5:23 pm, there were 36,724,164 (last-week – 34,411,708) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,064,832 (last week – 1,024,739) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 25,514,935 (last week – 23,905,675) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.