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Dec. 16 COVID-19 Update: 2 Recoveries, 10 New Molecular Cases, 22 Probable Cases

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Texas Department of State Health Services’ Dec. 16 COVID-19 dashboards and Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management’s Dec. 16 COVID-19 update showed two additional Hopkins County residents have recovered from COVID-19 and the patient count in the hospital COVID unit decreased for the second day in a row. However, the new COVID-19 case counts (confirmed and probable cases) for Hopkins County on Wednesday were more than double the 14 reported Tuesday, causing the active case count to rise as well.

Dec. 16 COVID-19 Case Counts

DSHS reported 10 Hopkins County residents received positive COVID-19 results from molecular testing Wednesday, eight more on either Monday or Tuesday. That makes 14 new confirmed novel coronavirus 2019 cases this week, 152 new cases this month – more new cases than any other month except October when 323 new cases were confirmed by molecular testing. The 10 new cases reported Dec. 16 increases the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for Hopkins County since March to 984, according to the DSHS Dec. 16 COVID-19 Texas Case Counts dashboard

More than twice as many new probable cases as confirmed cases were reported Wednesday as well. The 22 new cases increase the number of new probable cases reported in the last five days (DSHS has only been providing daily probable case counts since Dec. 11) to 52. The Dec. 11 probable count showed 40 more cases than on the Dec. 7 weekly total. Based on the weekly probable case total reported to HC/SSEM on Nov. 30, that’s at least 192 new probable cases reported for Hopkins County. Cumulatively since June 23, when the state began tracking the data, there have been 1,015 probable COVID-19 cases as well.

Two additional Hopkins County residents had recovered from COVID-19 on Wednesday, making 188 who have improved sufficient to be considered “recovered” this week and 1,114 recoveries this month. It should be noted that 810 of the recoveries were added on Dec. 11 when DSHS began tracking all recoveries, including not just hose from molecular testing but also adding in recoveries from probable cases as well. Cumulatively, there have been 1,808 COVID-19 recoveries reported for Hopkins County.

Since there were not enough recoveries to balance the new cases, the active case count (for molecular and probable cases) in Hopkins County rose from 99 to 129 on Dec. 16.

Testing Data

As of Tuesday, 13,919,586 COVID-19 tests had been conducted in Texas, including 12,395 Hopkins County cases. That’s 92,385 additional COVID-19 tests conducted across the state on Dec. 15, including 120 additional tests reported Dec. 15 for Hopkins County.

The DSHS Dec. 16 COVID-19 Test and Hospital Data dashboard shows a total of 10,375 molecular tests, 935 antigen tests and 1,087 antibody tests have been conducted in Hopkins County.

HC/SSEM in the Dec. 16 COVID-19 update reported 103 COVID-19 tests were conducted at the free testing center in Sulphur Springs on Dec. 15. That makes 617 molecular tests conducted at 128-A Jefferson Street in the last seven days, 285 of them in the last 2 days. Overall, that’s 1,199 free oral swab tests conducted inside the Red Cross building so far this month and 5,730 since the building was put into service on Sept. 25 as a testing center.

Free testing will continue at 128-A Jefferson St. (the old Fidelity Express building) weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays during December. Online registration at is required for the free testing at the site. Anyone can be tested at the site, but children must be accompanied by and registered by an adult who is authorized to sign the consent form. While registration asks if a person has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, neither exposure nor symptoms are required for testing.

Those testing are asked to refrain from drinking, eating or using tobacco products for a minimum of 15-20 minutes before testing. The Local Health Authority Nurse recommends refraining for an hour prior to test for a more accurate result.

Hospital Reports

HC/SSEM in the Dec. 16 update reported 19 patients in the COVID-19 Unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs. Wednesday is the first time since Nov. 25 that the patient count has dropped below 20. Dec. 16 is also the second consecutive day the patient count has declined, especially good news since the case count spiked on Monday to 26, the most reported so far by HC/SSEM.

While the COVID case count at CMFH-SS decreased, the overall number of COVID-19 cases in Trauma Service Area F, which includes nearly all of Northeast Texas including CMFH-SS, increased Wednesday, according to the DSHS also in the Dec. 16 COVID-19 Test and Hospital dashboard.

There were two more COVID-19 hospitalizations in TSA F on Dec. 16 than the 146 reported Tuesday. That’s 13.9 percent of the total hospital capacity in TSA F.

Overall, there were 1,065 staffed hospital beds and 974 staffed hospital beds in TSA F on Dec. 16, that 6 fewer staffed hospital beds and 8 fewer inpatient beds than on Tuesday.

Eleven ICU beds were available in TSA F on Dec. 16, three more than on Dec. 15, and also the first time in at least 12 days that this total has been a double digit number.

Also available across TSA F were 70 ventilators, up from 66 on Dec. 15, and 360 beds, 13 less than on Dec. 15.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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