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Dec. 30 COVID-19 Update: 1 Fatality, 8 New Cases, 30 In COVID Unit

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Texas Department of State Health Services and Hopkins/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management’s Dec. 30 COVID-19 updates showed 8 new COVID-19 cases, 11 recoveries, 1 fatality, 39 additional vaccines for Hopkins County on Wednesday. A patient count in the hospital COVID unit reached a new high, and while fewer COVID-19 patients were in Trauma Area F hospitals, the overall patient counts rose.

Dec. 30 COVID-19 Case Counts

DSHS; Dec. 30 COVID-19 Texas Case Counts dashboard showed a total 1,126 Hopkins County residents have received positive lab-confirmed molecular test results. That means three additional residents had confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 5:20 p.m. Dec. 30. That makes 42 new confirmed COVID-19 cases this week and 294 confirmed cases during the first 30 days of December.

New confirmed COVID-19 cases reported for Hopkins County March1-Dec. 30 (Graphic: DSHS County Trends)

DSHS also reported 1,115 probable cases of COVID-19 for Hopkins County, five more than was reported on Tuesday. That makes 16 new probable cases reported so far this week and 192 probable cases reported Dec. 11-30. (The state only began reporting probable cases daily on Dec. 11). The Dec. 30 COVID-19 County Trends report, however, shows 5 probable cases were removed from the overall probable case count on Dec. 29. A probable COVID-19 case is determined when a person  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.

New probable COVID-19 cases by date for Hopkins County (Graphic: DSHS County Trends)

Eleven Hopkins County residents had also recovered from COVID-19 on Dec. 30, that makes 111 recoveries so far this week and 1,353 recoveries since Dec. 11. This number includes both confirmed and probable case recoveries as of Dec. 11, when 810 probable case recoveries that had not been previously been accounted for were added to the overall recovery total. That makes 543 new recoveries from Dec. 12-Dec. 30. Cumulatively, 2,047 Hopkins County residents have recovered from COVID-19 since March, according to the DSHS Dec. 30 COVID-19 Case Counts dashboard.

As of 5:20 p.m. Dec. 30, Hopkins County still had 125 active COVID-19 cases, three less than on Tuesday, but 24 more than on Monday.

COVID-19 Fatalities

DSHS also Dec. 30 reported 70 Hopkins County residents have died from COVID-19, which means one additional Hopkins County resident has been confirmed by death certificate to have died from COVID-19. That makes 12 COVID-19 deaths confirmed for December.

The latest death was reported on the DSHS County Trends report occurred on Dec. 14, making the individual the second Hopkins County resident confirmed to have died of COVID-19 on Dec. 14. Two COVID-19 deaths were also reported on Dec. 3 and on Dec. 12, and one death each on Dec. 1, Dec. 2, Dec. 6, Dec. 7, Dec. 8 and Dec. 13.

At least 45 COVID-19 deaths were among residents of Sulphur Springs nursing facilities, according to the Health and Human Services’ Dec. 30 COVID-19 report.

In the 8-counties surrounding Hopkins, only two counties, both with larger populations, have reported more COVID-19 deaths. Hunt County has had 84 fatalities and Lamar 91. Wood County, which also has a larger population than Hopkins County, has reported 65 fatalities. Also around the region, Titus has had 44 COVID-19 deaths, Red River County 25, Rains County 18, Franklin County 12 and Delta County 3.

DSHS reported 70 COVID-19 deaths confirmed by death certificate for Hopkins County, including 12 in December. (Graphic: DSHS County Trends)

COVID-19 Vaccinations

According to the DSHS Dec. 30 COVID-19 Vaccine dashboard 105 vaccinations have been issued for Hopkins County. That means 39 additional people received the first dose of the vaccine on Dec. 29. A total of 32 vaccines had been administered on Christmas Eve, the remaining 73 vaccines were administered for Hopkins County over the last 7 days.

Currently, only two locations in Sulphur Springs have been allocated vaccines, 100 to Brookshire’s Pharmacy and 200 to CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic, according to the DSHS reports.

COVID-19 Testing

HC/SSEM officials in the Dec. 30 COVID-19 update reported 6,874 COVID-19 tests have been performed from Sept. 25-Dec. 29 at the free testing center in Sulphur Springs. That means 115 additional tests were conducted at 128-A Jefferson Street on Dec. 29 for a total of 416 oral swab tests performed since Christmas and 2,343 tests from Dec. 1-29.

DSHS’ Dec. 30 COVId-19 Test and Hospital Data dashboard showed a total of 13,596 COVID-19 tests had been conducted in Hopkins County as of Dec. 29, that’s 139 more tests reported on Dec. 29.

Cumulatively, 11,236 viral or molecular tests, 1,147 antigen and 1,213 antibody tests have been conducted in Hopkins County.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue form 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, in the Red Cross (Old Fidelity Express) building at 128-A Jefferson St 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.

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.

Hospital Reports

The patient count in the CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs COVID Unit rose from 24 on Tuesday to 30 on Wednesday, the most the unit has been reported to hold thus far. The most patients reported in the unit previously was 28 on Dec. 23. The COVID unit is equipped to hold up to 35 patients.

While the patient at the Sulphur Springs hospital rose on Wednesday, the number of overall COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area F, which encompasses nearly all of Northeast Texas including Hopkins County, declined for the second day in a row, dropping from 178 on Dec. 28 to 170 Dec. 29 and 167 Dec. 30.

More hospital beds were staffed in TSA F, up 48 beds from 1,065. There were 649 total hospitalizations in TSA F on Wednesday, 47 more than on Tuesday. There were also 1,021 total staffed impatient beds in TSA F on Dec. 30, up from 973 on Dec. 29.

Consequently, COVID-19 hospitalizations accounted for only 15 percent of the total hospital capacity in TSA F on Dec. 30, nearly 1 percent less than on Dec. 29.

The increased patient counts in TSA F on Wednesday meant that there were only 327 hospital beds available, 44 less than on Dec. 29; seven available ICU beds, two less; and 75 available ventilators, four less than on Tuesday.

Trauma Service Area F Hospital Counts12/2512/2612/2712/2812/2912/30
Total Staffed Hospital Beds1066107710601,03310651113
Available Hospital Beds367421428354371327
Available ICU Beds62730797
Available Ventilators7874757975
Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Patients in Hospital171161164178170167
Total Hospitalizations607564540587602649
Total Staffed Inpatient Beds9749859689419731021
Percent Capacity16.0414.9515.4717.2315.9615

HHS Reports

The number of COVID-19 cases reported at two local nursing homes continued to increase on Dec. 16, according to Texas Health and Human Services Dec. 30 COVID-19 nursing facilities report.

Three additional employees and one additional resident of Carriage House Manor had tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 16, increasing the active case counts for the facility to five employee and eight resident cases. Cumulatively, the facility has reported 54 employee COVID-19 cases and 77 resident cases, including 40 resident recoveries and 27 fatalities, since March.

Five additional employees and two additional residents of Rock Creek Health and Rehab had tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 16. Two residents at Rock Creek were reported to have recovered from the virus on Dec. 16. Cumulatively, 25 employees and 42 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including the two recoveries and four fatalities. On Dec. 16, Rock Creek reported 18 active employee and 36 active resident COVID-19 cases.

Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab reported the facility still had only two active employee COVID-19 cases on Dec. 16. Cumulatively, the facility had had 35 employee and 68 resident cases of COVID-19, including seven seven fatalities, according to the HHS Dec. 30 COVID-19 nursing facility report.

Sunny Springs Nursing & Rehab report no active COVID-19 cases on Dec. 16. Cumulatively, the facility has had 40 employee and 54 resident cases of the novel coronavirus 2019, including seven fatalities and 47 resident recoveries.

Wesley House also had one active employee COVID-19 case on Dec. 16. Cumulatively, Wesley House reported 11 employee cases and 16 resident cases of COVID-19 since March, according to the HHS Dec. 30 COVID-19 assisted living facility report.

There were no active COVID-19 cases reported Dec. 29 at any of the licensed child care centers, school-age programs, and before- or after-school programs, according to the Dec. 30 report.

HHS Dec. 30 COVID-19 nursing facilities report

Author: Faith Huffman

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