Update Oct. 1
By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS In an article published Sept. 30 by NBC News and written by Lauren Weber of Kaiser Health News, it was stated, “Rural Americans are dying of Covid at more than twice the rate of their urban counterparts — a divide that health experts say is likely to widen as access to medical care shrinks for a population that tends to be older, sicker, heavier, poorer and less vaccinated.”
“While the initial surge of Covid-19 deaths skipped over much of rural America,” the article continued, “where roughly 15 percent of Americans live, nonmetropolitan mortality rates quickly started to outpace those of metropolitan areas as the virus spread nationwide before vaccinations became available, according to data from the Rural Policy Research Institute.”
Across the Lone Star State, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) reported another 8,285 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with 350 related fatalities, on Thursday, Sept. 30.
In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on Sept. 30, there were 148 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 2,522 people who have recovered. There have also been 76 reported deaths. Last week, there were 183 active cases and 74 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, Sept. 30 the county had a total of 1,149 active cases. There have also been 4,089 recoveries and 99 reported deaths. Last week, there were 1,121 active cases and 94 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 Sept. 30 showed: Angelina – 946 active cases and 361 fatalities, last week there were 1,135 active cases with 350 fatalities; Cherokee – 149 active cases and 189 fatalities, last week there were 219 active cases with 179 fatalities; Freestone –126 active cases and 63 fatalities, last week there were 171 active cases with 60 fatalities; Henderson – 1,753 active cases and 297 fatalities, last week there were 1,573 active cases with 289 fatalities; Leon – 161 active cases and 60 fatalities, last week there were 185 active cases with 59 fatalities; Madison – 68 active cases and 42 fatalities, last week there were 83 active cases with 40 fatalities; Trinity – 74 active cases and 49 fatalities, last week there were 126 active cases with 48 fatalities; and Walker – 170 active case and 163 fatalities, last week there were 294 active cases with 160 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 Sept. 30, 2021, over 3.37 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 63,976 (last week 62,033) Texans had suffered a COVID-19 related death. Furthermore, 254 out of 254 – or 100% of counties in the state of Texas – now have at least one active case of COVID-19.
The Sept. 30 update showed a total of 42,092,227 Coronavirus tests had been administered in Texas with 9,005 current hospitalizations, down from 11,113 last week. In addition, the TxDSHS reported an estimated 3,678,900 recoveries. There have also been 32,309,531 vaccine doses given in Texas.
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 Sept. 30, the positivity rate was 11.37%, down from last week when the rate stood at 15.42%.
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 Oct. 1, across the US there have been 43,471,906 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 783,681 from a week ago.
The CSSE further reported there were 698,149 US residents who had suffered a COVID-19 related death as of Oct. 1 – an increase of 13,536 fatalities from a week ago. So far in the US, 391,477,070 vaccine doses have been administered.
Worldwide, on Oct. 1, as of 10:21 am, there have been 233,941,008 (last week – 230,768,087) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,786,737 (last week – 4,731,671) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 6,250,548,099 vaccine doses have been administered.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.