Fall Surge Continues
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – On Nov. 20, over 198,000 new, confirmed cases were reported in the United States. A few days later on Dec. 3, according to NBC News, “The country registered nearly 205,000 new cases of Covid-19 on the same day, a figure that comes just a month after the U.S. single-day record topped 100,000 cases for the first time.”
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 240 fatalities in the state of Texas related to the virus on Friday, Dec. 11.
This week, according to TxDSHS, on Dec. 11, there were 54 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 877 people who have recovered. There have also been 18 reported deaths. Last week, there were 65 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, Dec. 11, Anderson County had a total of 578 active cases. There have also been 1,434 recoveries and 57 reported deaths. Last week, there were 707 active cases and 49 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 Dec. 11, showed: Angelina – 751, up from 248 last week; Cherokee – 214, up from 55 last week; Freestone – 129, up from 43 last week; Henderson – 1,131, up from 748 last week; Leon – 98, up from 43; Madison – 62, up from 44 last week; Trinity – 17, up from 11 last week; and Walker – 303, down from 341 last week.
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 Dec. 11, 1,307,878 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 23,551 Texans have suffered a COVID-19 related death. Furthermore, 254 out of 254 – or 100% of counties in the state of Texas – now have or have had 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 Dec. 11 update showed 13,285,173 total Coronavirus tests had been administered with 9,045 current hospitalizations, up from 9,015 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 1,012,700 recoveries.
Since May 1, when the governor began reopening the state, until Dec. 11, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 29,229 to 1,307,878 for an increase of 1,278,649. The number of Texans who suffered COVID-19 related deaths has gone from 816 on May 1 to 23,551 on Dec. 11, an increase of 22,735. 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 Dec. 11, the positivity rate was 13.14%, an increase from last week’s rate of 11.78%.
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 Dec. 11, the number of positive cases reported was 15,746,026 – an increase of 1,463,352 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. Two months ago, it was reported over 200,000 US residents had perished due to the virus and by Dec. 11, the CSSE reported 293,785 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death, an increase of 15,827 deaths from last week.
The organizations also reported 5,985,047 patients have recovered in the US.
Worldwide, on Dec. 11, as of 2:26 pm, there were 70,000,538 (last-week – 65,669,150) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,589,964 (last week – 1,514,387) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 42,156,960 (last week – 42,156,960) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.