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Dec. 17 COVID-19 Update: 2 Fatalities, 24 New Molecular Cases, 12 Recoveries

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While patient count in the hospital COVID unit decreased and number of COVID-19 recoveries rose for the third consecutive day in Hopkins County, the number of new COVID-19 cases continued to rise along with the active case counts and COVID-19 deaths on Dec. 17, Texas Department of State Health Services’ dashboard and Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management’ Dec. 17 COVID-19 update.

Dec. 17 COVID-19 Case Counts

Hopkins County has now had more than 2,000 Hopkins County residents who have had COVID-19 since March, 1,008 from confirmed molecular testing and 1,021 probable cases, including 24 new confirmed cases and six new probable cases reported on Thursday, according to the DSHS Dec. 17 COVID-19 Texas Case Counts dashboard.

That makes 72 Hopkins County residents whose molecular test came back COVID-19 positive this week and 176 this month. Another 98 probable cases also were reported this week among Hopkins County residents.

One of the molecular cases reported on Thursday, however, was one of 614 older confirmed cases recently reported to DSHS by labs.

(DSHS County Trends graphics)

A dozen more Hopkins County residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19 on Dec. 17. That makes 200 Hopkins County residents reported to have recovered in the last three days from COVID-19. Cumulatively, 1,820 county residents have recovered from the virus as of Dec. 17.

The DSHS dashboard showed 64 COVID-19 fatalities for Hopkins County on Dec. 17. That’s two additional Hopkins County residents confirmed by death certificate to have died from the virus. One of those deaths occurred on Dec. 14 and a second COVID-19 death was reported for Dec. 3. That makes seven Hopkins County residents who confirmed to have died from novel coronavirus 2019 this month: one death each was also reported on Dec. 1, Dec. 2, Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, according to the DSHS Dec. 17 COVID-19 County Trends report. That’s only two less than the entire month of November, one more than in August and five more than in July, according to DSHS reports.

Hopkins County COVID-19 fatalities by date chart (DSHS COVID-19 County Trends)

Testing and Hospital Reports

HC/SSEM in the Dec. 17 COVID-19 update reported 17 patients in the COVID Unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs, down from 19 on Wednesday, 22 on Tuesday and 26 on Monday. Thursday as the first time in nearly a month, since Nov. 19, that the patient count has been that low.

Across Trauma Service Area F, 150 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients made up 13.77 percent of the total hospital capacity on Dec. 17. That’s two more hospitalized COIVD-19 patients on Thursday than on Wednesday and but 16 less than Dec. 10.

However, the capacity decreased 0.13 percent due to fluctuations in other patient counts for TSA F. There were 1,089 total staffed beds, 24 more than on Dec. 15 and eight more than last Thursday. TSA F reported 640 total hospitalizations, 26 more than on Wednesday; and 997 total staffed inpatient beds Thursday, 23 more than on Wednesday.

Available in TSA F on Dec. 17 were eight ICU beds, the same as on Dec. 15, but 3 less than Dec. 16; 69 ventilators, one less than Dec. 15 but three more than Dec. 15; and 357 hospital beds, three less than on Dec. 17, and 16 less than Dec. 15.

Patient Counts for TSA FDec. 10Dec. 11Dec. 12Dec. 14Dec. 15Dec. 16Dec. 17
Total Staffed Hospital Beds10811,1001120108010731,0651089
Available Hospital Beds386397406371373360357
Available ICU Beds55598118
Available Ventilators64596372667069
Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Patients in Hospital166124130147146148150
Total Hospitalizations604612523618609614640
Total Staffed Inpatient Beds99010091029989982974997
% COVID-19 Hospitalizations of Total Capacity15.3611.2711.6113.6113.6113.913.77

The DSHS Test and Hospital Data dashboard showed a total of 12,422 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Hopkins County: 10,397 molecular tests, 938 antigen tests and 1,087 antibody tests through Dec. 16.

According to the HC/SSEM Dec. 17 COVID-19 update, 84 molecular COVID-19 tests were conducted at the free testing site at 128-A Jefferson Street on Dec. 16. That’s 602 COVID-19 tests performed at the free testing center in the last 7 days, including 369 so far this week.

Free COVID-19 testing has been extended through January inside the Red Cross building. Testing is offered from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and for a shorter period of time on Saturdays. Online registration is required at for the free testing, Anyone can be rested, but an adult must sign for a child to register.

Those testing will be asked to present the number sent to them in a message or email along with a photo ID. Masks must be worn to the testing site. Testing is oral and inside the building. Those testing should refrain from eating or drinking anything, or use of tobacco for a minimum of 15-20 minutes before testing, although it has been recommend to refrain for a full hour for more accurate results.

Nursing Home Reports

Texas Health and Human Services’ Dec. 17 nursing home report showed three additional employees and four additional residents of Rock Creek Health & Rehab had tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 3, for a total of six active employee and 18 active resident cases at the facility.

Carriage House Manor also had four active resident COVID-19 cases on Dec. 3, the most recent data available from DSHS, according to the Dec. 17 nursing facility report.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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