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Dec. 28 COVID-19 Update: 6 Vaccines Administered, 63 Recoveries, 18 New Cases

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Texas Department of State Health Services’ Dec. 28 COVID-19 updates show 18 new COVID-19 cases, 63 additional recoveries and six more doses of the vaccine administered over the weekend for Hopkins County. One additional nursing home resident has been confirmed to have died as a result of COVID-19, according to Texas Health and Human Services’ Dec. 28 nursing facilities report.

Dec. 28 COVID-19 Case Counts

Hopkins County has now had 2.179 cases of COVID-19, which is roughly 5.88 percent of the population, although only 111 of those cases were still active on Dec. 28.

From the Dec. 28 DSHS County Trends report

Over the last 3 days, Hopkins County had had only two confirmed cases of COVID-19, both reported on Dec. 27. That makes 244 Hopkins County residents who have received positive molecular COVID-19 test results this month and 1,076 confirmed cases since March.

Sixteen additional residents are considered to have “probable cases” of COVID-19, 12 reported on Dec. 26 and four on Dec. 27. That makes 180 new probable cases reported from Dec. 11, when the state began reporting probable case totals daily, through Dec. 18, and 1,103 probable cases since the state began tracking that data in June.

From the Dec. 28 DSHS County Trends report

From Dec. 26-28, another 63 Hopkins County residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, 55 over the weekend and eight on Monday. That makes 1,305 recoveries reported this month (including 810 “probable” case recoveries not counted among the total until Dec. 11). That makes 1,999 recoveries out of the 13,364 Hopkins County cases. As was reported Dec. 25, 69 Hopkins County residents have died from COVID-19 since March (including 43 deaths of nursing home residents).

COVID-19 Vaccines

Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine continued to be distributed across the state over the weekend, with a total of 146,988 people receiving the first doses of the vaccine from among the 472,100 doses received by approved vaccine providers in 246 of Texas 254 counties as of Monday.

Included among that 145,988 who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are 34 from Hopkins County. That’s six additional people who had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Hopkins County as of 11:59 p.m. Dec. 27, according to Texas Department of State Health Services’ Vaccine dashboard

As of Monday afternoon, the number of sites approved to receive and administer the vaccine in Hopkins County had been narrowed to two. Brookshire’s Pharmacy was allocated 100 doses and CHRISUS Trinity Clinic 200 doses.

DSHS Vaccine Dashboard map

Brookshire’s had received a shipment of the vaccine and as of Monday afternoon had provided 20 vaccines to health care providers and anticipated another 40 doses would go out this week. The Clinic also had not received any doses of the vaccine as of 3:20 p.m. Dec. 28, but CHRISTUS-Sulphur Springs administrators anticipate receiving vaccines some time next week.

Initially, CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs had also been approved to serve as a regional distribution site for the 300 does of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. However, on Christmas Eve, the hospital had yet to receive the vaccine and that afternoon had been removed from the list of approved facilities posted on the DSHS COVID-19 Vaccine dashboard. CMFH-SS CEO Paul Harvey Dec. 24 and Dec. 28 reported that hospital representatives have been trying to find out why, but at noon today still did not have an answer.

COVID-19 Testing

Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials in the Dec. 28 COVID-19 update reported 6,613 COVID-19 tests have been conducted since the free testing center in Sulphur Springs opened on Sept. 25, including 155 performed Saturday and 2,082 molecular tests so far this month.

As of 11:59 p.m. Dec. 27, a total of 13,376 COVID-19 tests had been conducted for Hopkins County, 11,111 molecular (viral/PCR) tests, 1,114 antigen tests and 1,151 antibody tests. Twelve of those tests were conducted on Sunday, two antigen and 10 molecular tests, and 103 since Christmas.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 29-31, will be closed New Year’s Day, then resume weekdays in January from 9 6 p.m. and Saturdays until 5 p.m. at 128-A Jefferson Street.

Online registration is required at in order to be tested. Testing is open to anyone regardless of address. Even children ages 3 and up can be tested, provided an adults registers and accompanies them to have the oral swab test performed. The Sulphur Springs free testing site is not a drive through location. Testing is conducted inside the building.

Individuals should refrain from eating, drinking or using tobacco products a minimum of 15-20 minutes before, but waiting an hour should make them more accurate, officials reported.

Those testing will need to bring a photo ID and the number provided upon registration with them to the test location. Masks must be worn into the testing center. Testing typically takes about 5 minutes.

Hospital Reports

Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials in the Dec. 28 COVID-19 update reported 23 patients in the COVID Unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs, two less than on Christmas Eve and five less than on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23.

COVID-19 patients accounted for 17.23 percent of the total hospital capacity in Trauma Service Area F, which includes Hopkins County and nearly all of Northeast Texas, on Monday, Dec. 28. That makes the second consecutive day TSA F’s COVID percentage has been over the 15 percent threshold set by the Governor’s Office as “high.” It’s also the fifth time in the last seven days in which the COVID-19 percentage has exceeded the 15 percent capacity: 15. 57 percent on Dec. 23, 15. 94 percent on Christmas Eve, 16.04 percent on Christmas Day, 15.47 percent Dec. 27 and 17.23 percent on Monday (the highest percentage reported yet by DSHS for TSAF).

Overall, there were 178 patients in hospitals across TSA F, 14 more than on Dec. 27, 17 more than on Dec. 26, seven more than on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 41 more COVID-19 patients on Monday than on Dec. 19, and 52 more than on Dec. 11.

Percent of COVID-19 Hospitalizations out of total hospital capacity in Trauma Service Area Dec. 22-28

On Dec. 28, there were 1,033 total staffed hospital beds in TSA F, 27 more than on Dec. 27 and 44 less than on Dec. 26,, 70 less than on Dec. 18, 87 less than on Dec. 12.

TSA F also had 587 total hospitalizations on Dec. 28, 47 more than on Dec. 27, 21 more than on Dec. 26 an d 64 more than on Dec. 12, but 37 less than on Dec. 25 and 56 less than on Dec. 18

Overall, DSHS reported 941 total staffed inpatient beds on Dec. 28, 27 less than on Dec. 27, 34 less than on Dec. 26, 70 less than on Dec. 18 and 88 less than on Dec. 12. In fact, it’s the lowest in at least 24 days.

On Dec. 28, DSHS reported only 7 ICU beds available in hospital throughout TSA F, down from 30 on Dec. 27 and 27 on Dec. 26. A total of 75 ventilators were available in TSA F hospitals on Dec. 28, one more than on Dec. 27, but three less than on Christmas Day and four less than on Dec. 23, but still 16 more than on Dec. 11.

There were only 354 hospital beds available in TSA F on Monday, down from 428 on Dec. 27, but still more than the 367 reported on Christmas Day and the 347 reported on Dec. 23.

Nursing Home Updates

Between Dec. 8 and Dec. 14 at Sulphur Springs nursing homes, eight additional residents and two employees had tested COVID-19 positive, one resident and five employees had recovered from the virus, and one nursing home resident died as a result of COVID-19, according to Texas Health and Human Services Dec. 28 COVID-19 nursing facilities report.

Both Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab and Sunny Springs Nursing & Rehab have reported no new and no active resident cases from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14 (the most recent date data is available from HHS for nursing homes on Dec. 28). SSSHR did have two employees who tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 10, but one of those cases had recovered on Dec. 14. Sunny Springs reported no active employee COVID cases.

Rock Creek Health and Rehab didn’t have any any employee cases until Oct. 12 and no resident cases until Oct. 20. The facility had 22 active resident cases and two resident deaths from COVID-19 on Dec. 8. Those numbers had increased on Dec. 10 to three COVID-19 deaths and 28 active cases on Dec. 10. On Dec. 14, the resident case count had risen to 32, and while no additional fatalities were reported at Rock Creek, there also had been no resident recoveries recorded either. Two employees of RCHR were reported to have recovered from COVID-19 at least three more had tested positive on Dec. 14, giving the facility 18 cumulative employee cases since March, 12 of which were still active cases.

Carriage House Manor Had one employee who no long her COVID-19 but one more had tested positive on Dec/. 14. From Dec. 8-Dec. 14, CHM reported two additional resident recoveries and four additional residents had tested positive for the virus on Dec. 14.

Compiled from Dec. 28 Texas Health and Human Services reports.

Author: Faith Huffman

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