COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket

Update Jan. 7

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – A recent article in the Houston Chronicle stated, “Texas has recorded more COVID-19 deaths in 2021 than in the first year of the pandemic, even though vaccines have been available for all adults since March.”

The Dec. 22 article was written by Zach Despart and according to the article, public health experts had indicated “… the climbing death toll is almost entirely driven by people who are unvaccinated. From mid-January through October, just 8 percent of Texas virus deaths were among inoculated residents.”

Across the state of Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) reported 44,857 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with 114 related fatalities, on Thursday, Jan. 6.

In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on Jan.6, there were 195 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 2,854 people who have recovered. There have also been 91 reported deaths. On Dec. 22, there were 48 active cases and 89 deaths.

The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Houston County on April 17,2020, when it was learned three individuals had tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, in Anderson County, it was announced on Thursday, Jan. 6 the county had a total of 365 active cases. There have also been 5,611 recoveries and 114 reported deaths. On Dec. 22, there were 42 active cases and 113 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 cumulative fatalities per county – for those counties surrounding Houston and Anderson Counties – as of Jan. 6 showed: Angelina – 409 active cases and 429 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 43 active cases with 425 fatalities; Cherokee – 238 active cases and 230 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 23 active cases with 228 fatalities; Freestone – 161 active cases and 75 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 20 active cases with 73 fatalities; Henderson – 776 active cases and 359 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 140 active cases with 353 fatalities; Leon – 153 active cases and 74 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 40 active cases with 74 fatalities; Madison – 207 active cases and 46 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 43 active cases with 46 fatalities; Trinity – 133 active cases and 64 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 36 active cases with 64 fatalities; and Walker – 171 active cases and 188 fatalities, on Dec. 22 there were 171 active cases with 188 fatalities.

The Messenger first started tracking the spread of the virus in the East Texas area on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 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 Jan. 6, 2021, over 4.09 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 75,128 (on Dec. 22 – 74,003) 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 Jan. 6 update showed a total of 52,122,059 Coronavirus tests had been administered in Texas with 9,216 current hospitalizations, up significantly from 3,304 on Dec. 22. In addition, the TxDSHS reported an estimated 4,370,866 patient recoveries. There have also been 41,184,969 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 Jan. 6, the positivity rate was 36.46%, up significantly from Dec. 22 when the rate stood at 14.58%.

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 Jan. 7, across the US there have been 58,602,997 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 7,038,856 from Dec. 23.

The CSSE further reported there were 834,321 US residents who had suffered a COVID-19 related death as of Jan. 7 – an increase of 22,038 fatalities from Dec. 23. So far in the US, 512,853,667 vaccine doses have been administered.

Worldwide, on Jan. 7, as of 11:21 am, there have been 301,062,353 (on Dec. 23 – 277,341,462) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 5,475,710 (on Dec. 23 – 5,380,861) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 9,369,596,170 vaccine doses have been administered.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].  

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