By Jason Jones
HOUSTON COUNTY – The increasing rates of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Texas are showing steeper jumps than past surges, state health officials said Wednesday as they stressed the need to be fully vaccinated to slow the state’s third wave brought on by the delta variant. Nationally, 49.6% of all Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) the increase was blamed on the highly contagious delta variant, which can even be spread by those fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. “Breakthrough cases” among those who have been fully vaccinated are inevitable, especially among those without strong immune responses. Officials suggest, however, that those vaccinated people who do get sick with COVID-19 are likely to have a shorter, milder illness.
On the local front, TxDSHS reported another 60 COVID-19 related fatalities in the Lone Star State on Wednesday August 4.
In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on August 4, there were 71 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 1,929 people who have recovered. There have also been 59 reported deaths. Last week, there were 48 active cases and 59 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 Wednesday, August 4, the county had a total of 100 active cases. There have also been 3,514 recoveries and 134 reported deaths. Last week, there were 72 active cases and 133 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 August 4 showed: Angelina – 441 active cases and 289 fatalities, last week there were 233 active cases with 288 fatalities; Cherokee – 92 active cases and 149 fatalities, last week there were 73 active cases with 148 fatalities; Freestone – 70 active cases and 51 fatalities, last week there were 55 active cases with 50 fatalities; Henderson – 324 active cases and 201 fatalities, last week there were 176 active cases with 198 fatalities; Leon – 75 active cases and 44 fatalities, last week there were 43 active cases with 43 fatalities; Madison – 55 active cases and 31 fatalities, last week there were 28 active cases with 31 fatalities; Trinity – 63 active cases and 31 fatalities, last week there were 42 active cases with 31 fatalities; and Walker – 143 active case and 134 fatalities, last week there were 74 active cases with 134 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 throughout 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 August 4, 2021, approximately 2.67 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 52,221 Texans had 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 August 4 update showed a total of 34,222,107 Coronavirus tests had been administered in Texas with 7,685 current hospitalizations, up from 5,292 last week. The TxDSHS also reported 2,923,468 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 August 3, the positivity rate was 17.71%, a significant increase from last week when the rate stood at 15.48%.
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 August 5, across the US there have been 35,347,582 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 669,007 from a week ago.
The CSSE also reported there were 614,858 US residents who had suffered a COVID-19 related death as of July 29 – an increase of 3,045 deaths from a week ago.
Worldwide, on July 29, as of 9:21 am, there have been 200,485,291 (last week – 196,183,088) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,261,527 (last week – 4,191,429) deaths attributed to the virus.
The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 4,299,044,566 vaccine doses have been administered.