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Dec. 29 COVID-19 Update: 54 New Cases, 37 Recoveries, 28 More Vaccines Administered

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Texas Department of State Health Services’ Dec. 29 COVID-19 reports showed 54 new COVID-19 cases (confirmed and probable), 37 recoveries and 28 additional vaccines administered for Hopkins County, while Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials in the Dec. 29 COVID-19 update reported a slight increase the COVID unit patient count and 146 more free COIVD-19 tests conducted on Monday. Texas Health and Human Services also reported two additional COVID-19 fatalities among Sulphur Springs nursing home residents as of Dec. 15.

Dec. 29 COVID-19 Case Counts

The DSHS Dec. 29 COVID-19 Texas Case Counts dashboard showed a total of 1,123 Hopkins County residents have received lab-confirmed positive molecular COVID-19 test results as well as 1,111 cumulative probable COVID-19 cases.

That’s 54 new COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday, 47 confirmed (molecular) cases and 7 new probable cases, for Hopkins County. That makes 49 new confirmed and 11 new probable cases reported so far this week, and 291 new molecular COVID-19 positives reported this month and 187 new probable cases from Dec. 11 (when the state began daily probable case reporting) to Dec. 29. At that pace, December could potentially match or exceed the record 323 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported during the 31-days of October. That’s 6.02 percent of the Hopkins County population reported to have COVID-19.

DSHS also reported the cumulative number of patient recoveries had increased to 2,036 out of the 2,234 total cases (confirmed and probable). That means 37 additional Hopkins County residents were confirmed on Dec. 29 to have recovered from COVID-19. So far this month, there have been 1,342 recoveries, including the 810 probable case recoveries that had not been counted among the daily recovery count until Dec. 11.

While no COVID-19 fatalities were announced Dec. 29, there were 11 Hopkins County residents confirmed by death certificate to have died this month from COVID-19 and 58 confirmed to have died in previous months from COVID-19. That 0.19 percent of the Hopkins County population who have died from COVID-19, and a fatality rate of 3.09 percent among all COVID-19 cases (confirmed and probable) in Hopkins County.

That leaves 129 active COVID-19 cases in Hopkins County as 5:05 p.m. Dec. 29, which is 18 more than DSHS reported on Dec. 28.

COVID-19 Testing

HC/SSEM officials in the Dec. 29 COVID-19 update reported 6,759 oral swab tests had been performed at the free testing center at 128-A Jefferson Street in Sulphur Springs from Sept. 25 to 6 p.m. Dec. 28. That means 146 additional tests were conducted inside the Red Cross building on Monday, 301 since Christmas, 407 in the last seven days and 2,228 so far this month at the free testing site.

DSHS reported 13,457 COVID-19 tests had been conducted in Hopkins County through Dec. 28, 11,170 confirmed molecular or viral tests, 1,131 antigen tests and 1,156 antibody tests. That includes five additional antibody tests and 17 additional antibody tests.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 29-31 inside the free testing center on Jefferson Street. The free center in Sulphur Springs 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.

Select Sulphur Springs on the map at, then click the Book Now button to register for a free COVID-19 test in Sulphur Springs

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 or testing will be delayed. 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.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Across the state, 611,850 vaccines have been received by providers, with the first dose administered to 163,700 people in 248 of Texas’ 254 counties as of 11:59 p.m. Dec. 28.

The DSHS Dec. 29 COVID-19 Vaccine dashboard showed a total of 66 vaccines had been administered to 66 people in Hopkins County as of 11:59 p.m. Dec. 28, which is 28 more vaccines administered in Hopkins County Monday than were reported on Sunday and 34 more than were reported on Christmas Eve,

According to the DSHS Dec. 29 COVID-19 Vaccine Data report, 300 vaccines have been allocated to Hopkins County, 100 to Brookshire’s Pharmacy and 200 to CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. So far, DSHS reported, 66 people have been administered the first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

Texas has been allocated about 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine through the first three weeks of vaccine distribution.

SHS has instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ship COVID-19 vaccine to more than 350 providers in 94 Texas counties over the next week. The CDC will deliver 175,100 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna and 81,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine directly to Texas providers.

DSHS Vaccine Provider location map as of Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 29

An additional 121,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will go to the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Vaccinations under the program started in Texas today and, according to the CDC, will serve staff and residents at more than 300 long-term-care facilities in the first week.

DSHS encourages providers to rapidly vaccinate priority populations against COVID-19 and promptly report doses administered in ImmTrac2, the state’s immunization registry. Additional allocations of vaccine will be received each week.

“All providers that have received COVID-19 vaccine must immediately vaccinate healthcare workers, Texans over the age of 65, and people with medical conditions that put them at a greater risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19. No vaccine should be kept in reserve.” DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, stated Tuesday, Dec. 29.

Hopkins County has 29,578 residents ages 16 or older, 7,446 residents age 65 or older, 1,680 healthcare workers who meet the guidelines to receive the vaccine in Phase 1A and 620 who meet the long-term care requirements under 1A, according to the DSHS Dec. 29 COVID-19 Vaccine data chart.

DSHS has posted a vaccine provider location map that will be updated weekly after allocated doses have shipped to providers. A list of providers that will be receiving vaccine this week is available at, according to the DSHS news release.

Hospital Reports

HC/SSEM’s Dec. 29 COVID-19 update showed 24 patients in the COVID-19 unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital Sulphur Springs, which is one patient in the unit Tuesday than on Monday, but still one less than on Christmas Eve and four less than on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23.

While the COVID-19 hospital count rose in Hopkins County, Trauma Service Area F (which includes nearly all hospitals in Northeast Texas, including CMFH-SS) as a whole had seven less COVID-19 patients on Tuesday than the 178 reported on Monday.

While that number declined, the total number of patients in TSA F hospitals rose on Monday. A total of 1,064 hospital beds were staffed on Dec. 29, 32 more than no Dec. 28. There were 602 total hospitalizations, 15 more than on Dec. 28, and 972 inpatient beds were staffed in TSA F on Dec. 29, 32 more than on Monday.

Thus, COVID-19 hospitalizations accounted for only 15.96 percent of the total hospitalizations in TSA F on Tuesday, down from 17.23 percent on Monday and 16.054 percent on Christmas Day.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in TSA F have been above the 15 percent high capacity threshold set in GA-32 on six of the last seven days, but only consistently for the last three days. TSAs in which the COVID-19 hospitalizations exceed 15 percent of the total capacity for seven consecutive days must go back a step in the plan to reopen Texas., with businesses and other facilities reducing capacity to 50 percent and in some cases, like bars, could require them to close. The TSA must remain below the 15 percent threshold for a solid week before the restrictions are lifted.

TSA F also reported nine ICU beds available on Tuesday, two more than on Monday and three more than on Christmas Day, but still 21 less beds available on Tuesday than on Sunday and 18 less than on Saturday.

A total of 371 hospital beds were available on Tuesday in TSA F, 17 more than on Monday, but 57 less than on Dec. 27.

A total of 79 ventilators were available in TSA F on Dec. 29, the same as on Dec. 23, but four more than on Dec. 28, five more than on Dec. 27.

Trauma Service Area F Category12/2712/2812/29
Total Staffed Hospital Beds10601,0331065
Available Hospital Beds428354371
Available ICU Beds3079
Available Ventilators747579
Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Patients in Hospital164178170
Total Hospitalizations540587602
Total Staffed Inpatient Beds968941973
COVID Hospitalizations Percent Total Capacity15.4717.2315.96

Nursing Home, Assisted Living Facility Reports

Texas Health and Human Services’ Dec. 29 COVID-19 nursing facility report, which reflects data reported through Dec. 15, showed two additional nursing home resident died as a result of COVID-19, three additional nursing home employees and four nursing home residents had tested positive for COVID-19, and five employee recoveries.

One resident of Carriage House and one Rock Creek resident were confirmed Dec. 15 to have died from COVID-19. That brings the cumulative total since March to 45 nursing home residents who have died from COVID-19: 27 at Carriage House, four at Rock Creek and seven each at Sulphur Springs Health & Rehab and Sunny Springs Nursing and Rehab.

One additional employee each at Carriage House Manor, Rock Creek Health and Rehab and Sulphur Springs Health & Rehab had tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 15. All four new resident cases were reported at Rock Creek Health and Rehab.

One employee at Carriage House, two at Rock Creek and two at SSHR had recovered from the virus on Dec. 15, according to the Dec. 29 COVID-19 nursing facility report.

HHS in the Dec. 29 COVID-19 assisted living facility report showed one employee at Wesley House had also tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 15, That’s the only active COVID-19 case reported at any of the assisted living facilities in Sulphur Springs on Dec. 15.

There were no active COVID-19 cases among the six licensed child care centers, school-age programs, and before-and after-school programs in Hopkins County on Dec. 28, HHS reports showed.

Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 data for Sulphur Springs nursing facilities through Dec. 15, the most recent data available.
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Author: Faith Huffman

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