Numbers Starting to Drop
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – On Friday, Feb. 19, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported the daily number of new cases of COVID-19 was at its lowest rate since October but cautioned it was not time to relax the protocols established to help mitigate the disease.
As the rollout of the vaccine begins to gain traction, the numbers of newly reported cases are starting to show a downward trend across the nation. Even though it appears the health care industry has turned the corner on the disease, new variants of the virus are continually being found which indicate the disease is – unfortunately – not going away any time soon.
Closer to home, the Texas Department of Health Services (TxDSHS) reported another 315 fatalities in the state of Texas related to the virus on Thursday, March 4.
In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on March 4, there were 68 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 1,445 people who have recovered. There have also been 42 reported deaths. Last week, there were 73 active cases and 41 deaths.
The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Houston County on April 17 of last year, when it was learned three individuals had tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, in Anderson County, it was announced on Thursday, March 4, the county had a total of 203 active cases. There have also been 2,898 recoveries and 74 reported deaths. Last week, there were 770 active cases and 73 deaths.
On Tuesday, March 31, it was reported Anderson County had its first confirmed case of the virus.
The number of active cases and fatalities per county – for those counties surrounding Houston and Anderson Counties, as of March 4, showed: Angelina – 422 active cases and 263 fatalities, last week there were 293 active cases with 251 fatalities; Cherokee – 0 active cases and 125 fatalities, last week there were no active cases with 120 fatalities; Freestone – 143 active cases and 46 fatalities, last week there were 48 active cases with 42 fatalities; Henderson – 586 active cases and 165 fatalities, last week there were 1,790 active cases with 151 fatalities; Leon – 143 active cases and 39 fatalities, last week there were 153 active cases with 36 fatalities; Madison – 156 active cases and 27 fatalities, last week there were 148 active cases with 24 fatalities; Trinity – 65 active cases and 22 fatalities, last week there were 59 active cases with 21 fatalities; and Walker – 87 active cases and 116 fatalities, last week there were 152 active cases with 113 fatalities.
The Messenger first started tracking the spread of the virus in the East Texas area on Wednesday, March 25 of last year. At that time, 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 March 4, 2,309,124 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 43,878 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 March 4 update showed 23,393,254 total Coronavirus tests had been administered with 5,263 current hospitalizations, down from 6,724 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 2,458,818 recoveries.
A Newsweek article published in July of 2020 stated – at that time – Texans were dying every six minutes and 16 seconds from the coronavirus. Last month, CNN reported a nationwide average of one COVID-19 death every 30 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 March 4, the positivity rate was 8.29%, a decrease from last week when the rate stood at 12.73%.
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 March 5, across the US there were 28,828,931 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 404,987 from last week.
The CSSE also reported there were 520,422 residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death as of Feb. 19 – an increase of 11,616 deaths from a week ago.
Worldwide, on March 5, as of 9:24 am, there were 115,768,386 (last week – 113,207,169) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,571,881 (last week – 2,511,767) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 65,476,497 (last week – 63,889,919) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.