Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials’ Nov. 24 COVID-19 update showed cumulative totals with 11 additional positive COVID-19 cases and 69 additional recoveries over their last report on Nov. 20. HC/SSEM also provided some additional demographic details for recent COVID-19 cases provided by DSHS.
Changes in State Reporting
The HC/SSEM officials in a Zoom press conference Tuesday afternoon noted that county emergency management officials will no longer be receiving daily reports of lab-confirmed molecular COVID-19 positive cases and recoveries for Hopkins County from Texas Department of State Health Services. In fact, the state ceased sending recovery updates to the county over a week ago, local officials reported.
The state agency won’t be providing the limited address information to emergency officials for the county’s dispatch system. Instead, all potential cases should be considered positive by officials, according to Sulphur Springs Emergency Management Coordinator Jason Ricketson. The Local Health Authority Nurse will continue to receive limited information with addresses so she can continue contact tracing, according to Hopkins County Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Endsley.
DSHS will provide a cumulative weekly report of molecular and antigen probable cases on Monday.
Daily information was still being posted on the DSHS COVID-19 Case Count dashboard as of Nov. 24, however.
“Weekly COVID-19 County Profile Report” on Tuesday that will include more demographic information about COVID-19 cases.
Ricketson noted the information that has been given to local emergency management officials regarding COVID-19 cases has been limited. Some information was never provided by DSHS to HC/SSEM officials, including age breakdowns of patients. The age percentages HC/SSEM has been able to provide every 2 weeks have been based on information the LHA has been able to compile.
Starting this week on Tuesdays, the state plans to release more useful and comprehensive information than the HC/SSEM has receive in the past regarding Hopkins County COVID-19 cases, including breakdown of cases by age ranges, male/female, and trends over the last 1-2 weeks. The idea to to provide more information to the public so they can make decisions in the future, according to Ricketson.
HC/SSEM Nov. 24 COVID-19 Update
As of Nov. 24, 800 Hopkins County residents have received positive lab-confirmed molecular COVID-19 test results, which is 21 more cases than were last reported by HC/SSEM on Nov. 20 and 2 more than DSHS reported on Nov. 23. That’s 105 new cCOVID-19 cases among Hopkins county resident confirmed by molecular testing so far this month, based on HC/SSEM reports.
Of the 800 molecular positive, 691 Hopkins County residents have recovered, 51 have died of COVID-19 and 58 still have COVID-19, according to the HC/SSEM Nov. 24 COVID-19 update. That’s also 69 additional recoveries reported by DSHS on on Monday and Tuesday, than HC/SSEM reported on Friday. Based on updates provided by HC/SSEM officials, that makes 151 Hopkins County residents who have recovered from COVID-19 this month.
Unfortunately, there have been four Hopkins County residents who have died from COVID-19 this month, one each on Nov. 1, Nov. 5, Nov. 9 and Nov. 13.
The Nov. 24 COVID-19 update provided by HC/SSEM also included case counts for positive antigen cases as well.
Since June 23, Hopkins County has had 776 positive COVID-19 antigen results, which the state considered “probable” COVID-19 cases, according to the Nov. 24 COVID-19 update. That’s 108 additional antigen positives over the last week.
Since the state began reporting antigen numbers on Mondays on Nov. 9, there have been 220 new positive antigen results or “probable” cases reported for Hopkins County. Prior to that, antigen case count estimates were collected by the LHA nurse from local health care providers and reported by HC/SSEM on Fridays. On Nov. 6, HC/SSEM reported Hopkins County residents received 97 positive COVID-19 antigen results from Oct. 30-Nov. 6.
Of the 776 cumulative antigen probable cases, 645 cases are considered recoveries. That’s 129 antigen probable case recoveries in the last week, and 215 since the first Monday antigen report by the state. That leaves 131 antigen probable cases among Hopkins County residents that are still considered to be “active” probable cases. That’s 21 fewer active probable cases than on Nov. 16 and 5 more than was reported on Nov. 9.
According to the DSHS Weekly COVID-19 County Profile, 14 percent of new cases during the current two-week period are school aged individuals. Seventeen percent of all cases occurred within the last 2 weeks, with 261 new cases
Of the 261 cumulative new cases reported during the profile period, the COVID-19 Cases by Age chart shows that 52 percent of cases were in females and 48 males. A breakdown by case range showed 43 cases in residents 60-69 years of age, 40 age 50-59 years, 37 ages 30-39, 33 ages 20-29, 35 ages 40-49, 28 ages 70-79, 16 ages 12-17, 12 ages 4-11 years, 7 ages 80 and older and 2 ages 0-3 years.
HC/SSEM in the Nov. 24 COVID-19 update reported a total of 4,098 molecular COVID-19 tests had been performed at the testing center from Sept. 25 through 6 p.m. Nov. 23. That’s 112 additional oral swab tests conducted at the location on Monday, 541 tests over the last week and 1,705 tests this month.
Mobile COVID-19 testing will continue at from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday through Nov. 28, in the Old Red Cross/Fidelity Express building (behind the Tax Office), located at 128-A Jefferson St. in Sulphur Springs. Register online for the test at www.GoGetTested.com.
HC/SSEM in the Nov. 24 COVID-19 update also reported that there are 24 patients in the COVID-19 unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs that’s two more than on Monday, Nov. 23, and 7 more than on Friday. These are patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
CMFH-SS expanded the hospital’s capacity over the last few weeks. Last week, the hospital had the capacity to accommodate 24-25 COVID patients. This week, the hospital has opened up an additional 10 beds should the need arise for them, giving the hospital the capacity to dedicate up to 35 beds for COVID patients at the local hospital, the SSEM official reported.
While the COVID-19 percentage among all hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area F has remained between 12 and 14 percent for the last week, COVID hospitalizations rose to 14.71 percent on Nov. 24, up from 13.57 Nov. 22and 13.54 percent on Nov. 23. That’s approaching the 15 percent to be considered high hospitalization rates. However, Governor’s Executive Order 32, stipulates no additional measures are required if the COVID-19 hospitalizations do not exceed 15 percent of all hospitalizations in the TSA for 7 straight days.
Trauma Service Area F hospital had a total of 155 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, 16 available ICU beds, 80 available ventilators, 590 total hospitalizations, 1,054 total staffed hospital beds and 963 inpatients. That 13 more COVID-19 patients, 5 more available ICU beds, 5 more available ventilators, 13 more staffed inpatient beds, 25 more beds available and 13 more total staffed hospital beds in Area F on Tuesday than on Monday, Nov. 23.
HHS COVID-19 Reports
The Texas Health and Human Services in the Nov. 24 nursing facility report showed 14 recoveries among staff and residents of Sulphur Springs nursing homes for Nov. 10. Four fewer active employee COVID-19 cases were reported by Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab. Ten residents of SSHR also were reported to have recovered from the virus on Nov. 10, the most recent information available from HHS for nursing facilities.
That left 1 active employee case and 2 active resident cases of COVID-19 at Carriage House Manor, 1 active resident case at Rock Creek Health and Rehabilitation, and 10 active employee and 3 active resident novel coronavirus 2019 cases at SSHR on Nov. 10
Wesley House reported one employee still actively had COVID-19 on Nov. 10, according to the HHS Nov. 24 assisted living facility report.
There were no active COVID-19 cases among either students or employees of the six licensed child care centers, school-age programs, and before- or after-school programs on Nov. 23, according to the HHS report for the child care facilities.