Caution Urged Despite Decline in Numbers
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues 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 COVID-19 is – unfortunately – not going away any time soon.
Earlier this week, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Dr. Rochelle Walensky – cautioned Americans not to let their guard down in the fight against COVID-19, warning of a potential fourth wave of the virus.
Closer to home, the Texas Department of Health Services (TxDSHS) reported another 126 fatalities in the State of Texas related to the virus on Wednesday, March 31.
In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on March 31, there were 46 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 1,491 people who have recovered. There have also been 49 reported deaths. Last week, there were 51 active cases and 49 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 31, the county had a total of 125 active cases. There have also been 3,053 recoveries and 77 reported deaths. Last week, there were 165 active cases and 75 deaths.
On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 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 31 showed: Angelina – 187 active cases and 270 fatalities, last week there were 202 active cases with 268 fatalities; Cherokee – 0 active cases and 135 fatalities, last week there were no active cases with 133 fatalities; Freestone – 25 active cases and 48 fatalities, last week there were 23 active cases with 48 fatalities; Henderson – 152 active cases and 178 fatalities, last week there were 402 active cases with 176 fatalities; Leon – 20 active cases and 42 fatalities, last week there were 25 active cases with 41 fatalities; Madison – 20 active cases and 28 fatalities, last week there were 23 active cases with 28 fatalities; Trinity – 51 active cases and 23 fatalities, last week there were 71 active cases with 23 fatalities; and Walker – 97 active cases and 123 fatalities, last week there were 36 active cases with 122 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, 2020 – the only county with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus bordering Houston or Anderson County was Walker County.
By March 31, 2021, approximately 2.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 47,404 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 31 update showed a total of 25,637,605 Coronavirus tests had been administered in Texas with 3,097 current hospitalizations, down from 3,410 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 2,637,688 recoveries.
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 31, the positivity rate was 5.42%, a decrease from last week when the rate stood at 5.68%.
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 31, across the US there were 30,470,721 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 387,483 from a week ago.
The CSSE also reported there were 552,335 US residents had suffered a COVID-19 related death as of March 26 – an increase of 5,455 deaths from a week ago.
Worldwide, on April 1, as of 10:28 am, there were 129,118,946 (last week – 125,650,992) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,819,141 (last week – 2,757,710) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 73,251,805 (last week – 71,208,902) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.