Numbers Keep Climbing
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – On Wednesday, Nov. 4, it was reported the United States saw the number of new COVID-19 cases exceed 100,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. That record lasted all of 24 hours as on Thursday, Nov. 5, over 120,000 new cases were reported.
While everyone wishes the virus would disappear, it doesn’t appear it’s going away any time soon, despite those who said it would magically disappear after the election on Nov. 3.
This is evidenced by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) report of another 136 fatalities related to the virus on Friday, Nov. 6.
This week, according to TxDSHS, on Nov. 6 there were eight active cases in Houston County with approximately 413 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 Friday, Nov. 6, Anderson County had a total of 384 active cases. There have also been 1,071 recoveries and 46 reported deaths. Last week, there were 316 active cases and 24 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 Nov. 6, showed: Angelina – 82, down from 109 last week; Cherokee – 143, up from 124 last week; Freestone – 26, down from 33 last week; Henderson – 527, up from 454 last week; Leon – 86, up from 66 last week; Madison – 51, up from 34 last week; Trinity – 5, up from 2 last week; and Walker – 38, down from 81.
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 Nov. 6, 942,539 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 18,589 Texans have suffered a COVID-19 related death. Furthermore, 253 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. Greg 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 Nov. 6 update showed 8,553,766 total Coronavirus tests had been administered with 6,070 current hospitalizations, up from 5,627 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 807,008 recoveries.
Since May 1, when the governor began reopening the state, until Nov. 6, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 29,229 to 942,539 for an increase of 913,310. The number of Texans who suffered COVID-19 related deaths has gone from 816 on May 1 to 18,589 on Nov. 6, an increase of 17,773. 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 Nov. 6, the positivity rate was 9.78%, an increase from last week’s rate of 8.57%.
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 Nov. 6, the number of positive cases reported was 9,678,326 – an increase of 659,802 from the previous week.
On April 17, the number of Coronavirus related deaths in the US stood at 36,773. By late May, a grim milestone was reached as the death toll in the US surpassed the 100,000 mark. Just over a month ago, it was reported over 200,000 US residents had perished due to the virus and by Nov. 6, the CSSE reported 235,541 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death, an increase of 6,185 deaths from last week.
The organizations also reported 3,781,751 patients have recovered in the US.
Worldwide, on Nov. 6, as of 2:24 pm, there were 49,129,021 (last-week – 45,246,839) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,239,896 (last week – 1,185,760) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 32,344,603 (last week – 30,396,286) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].