ICU Beds in Short Supply Due to COVID-19 Surge

Update Jan. 28

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – In an article published on Jan. 27 by The Texas Tribune, it was stated, “The number of Texas intensive care unit beds available for adult patients is at an all-time low for the pandemic, with only 259 staffed beds open across the state as of Wednesday, as hospitals fight a historic staffing crisis and more unvaccinated people infected by the omicron variant pour into hospitals.”

The article goes on to state, “That’s 11 fewer beds than the previous record set in September during the deadly surge of the delta variant of COVID-19, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. An average of 295 available beds has been reported in the last week, which is also lower than previous record averages. The crunch on the state’s intensive care units comes as patient cases skyrocket and as hospitals themselves work to fill shifts left open by more workers home sick from COVID-19.”

Across the state of Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) reported 30,747 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with 234 related fatalities, on Thursday, Jan. 27.

In addition, the TxDSHS indicated on Jan. 27, there were 343 estimated, active cases in Houston County with approximately 2,995 people who have recovered. There have also been 96 reported deaths. On Jan. 20, there were 353 active cases and 94 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. 27 the county had a total of 1,198 active cases. There have also been 5,638 recoveries and 115 reported deaths. On Jan. 20, there were 972 active cases and 115 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. 27 showed: Angelina – 1,159 active cases and 440 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 794 active cases with 435 fatalities; Cherokee – 650 active cases and 231 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 427 active cases with 230 fatalities; Freestone – 317 active cases and 80 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 224 active cases with 75 fatalities; Henderson – 3,763 active cases and 370 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 2,012 active cases with 363 fatalities; Leon – 339 active cases and 77 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 224 active cases with 75 fatalities; Madison – 322 active cases and 49 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 221 active cases with 47 fatalities; Trinity – 306 active cases and 67 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 234 active cases with 65 fatalities; and Walker – 3,306 active cases and 197 fatalities, on Jan. 20 there were 2,342 active cases with 191 fatalities.

The Messenger first started tracking the spread of the virus in the East Texas area on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. 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. 27, 2022, over 5.06 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Texas while 77,555 (on Jan. 20 – 76,443) 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. 27 update showed a total of 56,503,347 Coronavirus tests had been administered in Texas with 13,360 current hospitalizations, up from 13,094 on Jan. 20. There have also been 42,901,178 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. 27, the positivity rate was 31.87%, down slightly from Jan. 20 when the rate stood at 33.22%.

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. 28, across the US there have been 73,444,670 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 4,078,210 from Jan. 21.

The CSSE further reported there were 878,616 US residents who had suffered a COVID-19 related death as of Jan. 28 – an increase of 18,052 fatalities from Jan. 21. So far in the US, 535,066,188 vaccine doses have been administered.

Worldwide, on Jan. 28, as of 10:21 am, there have been 367,332,788 (on Jan. 21 – 343,385,893) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 5,640,818 (on Jan. 21 – 5,577,111) deaths attributed to the virus. The CDC, WHO and the CSSE are also reporting 9,910,167,192 vaccine doses have been administered.

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

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