Caution Urged Despite Decline in Numbers
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – As the distribution 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.
Just over a week ago, 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 84 fatalities in the State of Texas related to the virus on Thursday, April 15.
In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on April 15, there were 0 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 1,589 people who have recovered. There have also been 51 reported deaths. Last week, there were 0 active cases and 50 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, April 15, the county had a total of 132 active cases. There have also been 3,101 recoveries and 79 reported deaths. Last week, there were 107 active cases and 79 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 April 15 showed: Angelina – 156 active cases and 274 fatalities, last week there were 166 active cases with 274 fatalities; Cherokee – 0 active cases and 136 fatalities, last week there were no active cases with 136 fatalities; Freestone – 29 active cases and 49 fatalities, last week there were 23 active cases with 49 fatalities; Henderson – 88 active cases and 184 fatalities, last week there were 128 active cases with 182 fatalities; Leon – 22 active cases and 42 fatalities, last week there were 24 active cases with 42 fatalities; Madison – 28 active cases and 28 fatalities, last week there were 18 active cases with 28 fatalities; Trinity – 0 active cases and 24 fatalities, last week there were 0 active cases with 24 fatalities; and Walker – 58 active cases and 125 fatalities, last week there were 62 active cases with 123 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 April 15, 2021, approximately 2.43 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 48,425 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 April 15 update showed a total of 26,794,446 Coronavirus tests had been administered in Texas with 2,931 current hospitalizations, up from 2,866 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 2,673,787 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 April 15, the positivity rate was 6.49%, an increase from last week when the rate stood at 5.66%.
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 16, across the US there have been 31,524,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 501,176 from a week ago.
The CSSE also reported there were 565,695 560,315 US residents who had suffered a COVID-19 related death as of April 16 – an increase of 5,380 deaths from a week ago.
Worldwide, on April 16, as of 12:21 pm, there have been 139,403,270 (last week – 134,200,330) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,991,106 (last week – 2,906,785) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 79,445,321 (last week – 76,231,991) patients have recovered from the disease.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.