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Dec. 21 COVID-19 Update: 1 Fatality, 3 New Confirmed And 12 New Probable Cases

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Texas Department of State Health Services’ Dec. 21 COVID-19 Case Counts dashboard showed one additional COVID-19 fatality, three confirmed cases and 12 probable cases for Hopkins County Dec. 20-21. The patient count in the COVID unit rose again as did the number of people tested at the free testing center on Jefferson Street on Saturday.

Case Counts

DSHS reported two new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday and one on Monday. That makes 211 Hopkins County residents who have received lab-confirmed COVID-19 tests so far this month, and 1,043 since March.

Confirmed cases are those in which an individual has tested positive through a molecular test that looks for the virus’s genetic material.

DSHS new confirmed COVID-19 cases for Hopkins County as of Dec. 21, 2020 (DSHS chart)

The DSHS case counts dashboard also showed a dozen probable cases not previously reported, six each on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21. That makes 130 new probable cases from Dec. 11, when the state began daily reporting probable statistics, and Dec. 21, cumulatively, there have been 1,053 probable COVID-19 tests reported for Hopkins County since June. However, DSHS notes that one older probable case was reported Monday to DSHS by a lab.

Probable cases are those in which an individual either tests positive through an antigen test or has a combination of symptoms and a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 without a more likely diagnosis.

DSHS chart for new probable cases of COVID-19 reported for Hopkins County

No new COVID-19 patient recoveries were reported for Hopkins County on either Dec. 20 or Dec. 21. So far this month, however, there have been 1,162 recoveries reported.

While that sounds like a lot, it should be noted that this figure includes recoveries reported for both probable and confirmed cases. Prior to Dec. 11, only molecular cases were reported daily, with antigen probable cases relayed to local emergency management officials once a week. So December’s new recoveries count also includes 810 probable recoveries that had previously tracked by DSHS but not previously reported in daily case counts until Dec. 11.

From Dec. 12-21, 236 Hopkins County residents were reported to have recovered from the novel coronavirus 2019. Cumulatively, 1,856 Hopkins County residents have recovered from COVID-19.

That leaves 172 active COVID-19 cases in Hopkins County on Dec. 21.

COVID-19 Fatalities

DSHS’ Dec. 21 COVID-19 dashboard showed 68 Hopkins County residents have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19, that’s one more than reported on Saturday and Sunday. The latest COVID-19 fatality occurred on Dec. 11, and was one of only 67 fatalities across the state newly reported to DSHS on Dec. 21, according to the DSHS County Trends report.

That makes 10 COVID-19 fatalities that have occurred so far in December. Two deaths were reported on Dec. 3, and one each on Dec. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 14. That’s as many deaths confirmed as of Dec. 21 during the first two weeks of December as were reported during the entire month of November, and is one more COVID death than during the first two weeks of October; the 10th month of the year finished with a total of 29 Hopkins County COVID-19 fatalities.

COVID-19 fatalities are deaths for which COVID-19 is listed as a direct cause of death on the death certificate. A medical certifier, usually a doctor, determines the cause(s) of death. DSHS does not include deaths of people who had COVID-19 but died of an unrelated cause. Fatalities are reported by where the person lived as listed on the death certificate.

DSHS County Trends New COVID-19 Fatalities Chart for Hopkins County as f Dec. 21.

Hospital Reports

Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management Officials in the Dec. 21 COVID-19 update reported 25 patients in the COVID unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs, five more than during the last report on Friday. Patient counts are only reported Monday-Friday.

During the month of December, patient counts in the CMFH-SS COVID Unit have been highest each week on Mondays. The most patients so far this month in the COVID unit on a single day was 26 on Dec. 14.

The lab-confirmed COIVD-19 patient count across Trauma Service Area F hospitals has continued to rise over the last two days from 138 on Saturday to 148 Sunday and 154 on Monday. The most COVID patients on a given day over the past 2 weeks in TSA-F, which includes Hopkins County and almost all of Northeast Texas, was 157 on Dec. 8 and 9, and the fewest was 124 on Dec. 11. COVID-19 patient hospitalizations have accounted for 13.99 percent of the total hospital capacity on Dec. 20 and 14. 42 percent on Dec. 21.

percent COIVD-19 hospitalizations out of all hospitals’ capacity in TSA F (DSHS chart)

A total of 1,068 hospital beds were staffed on Monday, 10 more than were reported Dec. 20, but 14 less than on Dec. 19, and 52 less than on Dec. 12 in TSA-F. DSHS reported 614 total hospitalizations on Dec. 21, seven more than on Dec. 20. A total of 976 inpatient beds were staffed on Dec. 21, 10 more than the day before, but 14 less than on Dec. 19 and 39 less than on Dec. 6.

Available on Dec. 21 in TSA -F were seven ICU beds, one more than the day before, but four less than Dec. 19. On Monday, 77 ventilators were available throughout TSA-F, one less than Dec. 20 but 9 more than on Dec. 19. In fact, the most ventilators available on any given day since Dec. 4 has been 78 on Sunday. A total of 362 hospital beds were available in TSA-F on Dec. 21, three more than on Dec. 20 but four less than on Dec. 19.

Testing Update

HC/SSEM in the Dec. 21 COVID-19 update reported 180 molecular tests were conducted Dec. 18-19 at the free testing center in Sulphur Springs. That makes 610 oral swab tests performed at 128-A Jefferson Street over the last week, 1,534 so far this month and 6,065 since the free testing site opened on Sept. 25.

Cumulatively, there have been 12,868 COVID-19 tests conducted in Hopkins County: 10,726 molecular or viral tests (PCR), 1,017 antigen tests and 1,125 antibody tests. That’s 704 total COVID-19 tests conducted in Hopkins County from Dec. 13-20.

Free molecular testing continues to offered inside the Red Cross building weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until about 5 p.m. on Saturdays through January, emergency officials reported last week. Online registration at www.GoGet Tested.com is required, however. Testing is available for anyone, regardless of address or age. Children should be registered and accompanied by an adult.

Those testing should refrain eating, drinking or using tobacco products for 20 minutes to an hour prior to arrival at the free testing center. A photo ID and the number sent electronically to the registrant is also required at the time of testings.

Dec. 21 COVID-19 Cumulative testing totals, according to DSHS

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Author: Faith Huffman

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