Update on Spread of Coronavirus – Jan. 15

One US Death every 40 Seconds

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – On Friday, Jan. 8 NPR reported, “The U.S. has for the first time recorded more than 4,000 deaths in one day from complications of COVID-19 as Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center reported 4,085 coronavirus-related deaths on Jan. 7.”

While everyone wishes the virus would disappear, it doesn’t appear it’s going away any time soon, despite the naysayers.

Closer to home, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) reported another 426 fatalities in the state of Texas related to the virus on Thursday, Jan 14.

In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on Jan. 14, there were 130 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 1,114 people who have recovered. There have also been 28 reported deaths. Last week, there were 142 active cases and 25 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 Thursday, Jan. 14, Anderson County had a total of 757 active cases. There have also been 1,894 recoveries and 64 reported deaths. Two weeks ago, there were 624 active cases and 62 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 Jan. 14, showed:  Angelina – 1,245, up from 976 last week; Cherokee – 233, down from 336 last week; Freestone – 65, down from 91 last week; Henderson – 1,644, up from 1,290 last week; Leon – 122, up from 89 last week; Madison – 56, down from 70 last week; Trinity – 83, up from 76 last week; and Walker – 474, down from 565 last week.

The Messenger first started tracking the spread of the virus in the East Texas area on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 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 Jan. 14, 1,794,545 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 31,050 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.   

The Jan. 14 update showed 17,585,800 total Coronavirus tests had been administered with 14,052 current hospitalizations, up from 13,784 two weeks ago. The TxDSHS also reported 1,630,778 recoveries.    

Since May 1, when the governor began reopening the state, until Jan. 14, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 29,229 to 1,794,545 for an increase of 1,765,316. The number of Texans who suffered COVID-19 related deaths has gone from 816 on May 1 to 30,2324 on Jan. 14, an increase of 28,122.

A Newsweek article published in July of 2020 stated – at that time – Texans were dying every six minutes and 16 seconds from the coronavirus. In December of 2020, CNN reported a nationwide average of one COVID-19 death every 40 seconds.

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 Jan. 14, the positivity rate was 17.73%, an increase from last week when the rate stood at 14.03%.   

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 Jan. 15, the number of positive cases reported were 23,362,050 – an increase of 1,744,588 from last 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 Jan. 15, the CSSE reported 389,581 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death, an increase of 23,699 deaths from two weeks ago.       

Worldwide, on Jan. 15, as of 11:22 am, there were 93,418,283 88,389,886 (last week – 88,839,886) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,000,905 (last week – 1,905,159) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 51,536,442 (two weeks ago – 49,250,228) patients have recovered from the disease. 

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].   

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