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Dec. 9 COVID-19 Update: 3 Fatalities, 13 New Cases, 32 Recoveries

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The Dec. 9 COVID-19 case counts offered good and bad news for Hopkins County: while 32 residents recovered and one less patients was in the COVID unit at the local hospital, 13 additional residents received positive COVID-19 results and Texas Department of State Health Services received confirmation of three additional COVID-19 deaths for Hopkins County.

Dec. 9 COVID-19 Case Counts

The 32 recoveries reported on Dec. 9 helped offset the 13 new positive COVID-19 cases (8 more than on Tuesday), and reduced the overall active resident case count from 84 to 62 in Hopkins County.

Hopkins County Dec. 9 COVID 19 Case Counts

As of Wednesday, recoveries outpaced new cases both this week and this month. So far this week, 28 Hopkins County residents have received positive molecular COVID-19 test results and 32 have recovered. During the first nine days of December, 99 new cases and 116 recoveries have been reported for Hopkins County, according to the DSHS COVID-19 Case Counts dashboards

That’s 34 more recoveries from Dec. 1-9 than during the entire month of November; there were no recoveries from Nov. 10-30. On the other hand, there were only 138 new COVID-19 cases reported in November as well. August only had 91 new cases and 97 recoveries, September 118 new cases and 87 recoveries, and July 89 new cases and 48 recoveries.

Since March, 931 Hopkins County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 on molecular tests, with 810 of those residents recovering.

COVID Fatalities

The DSHS COVID-19 Case Counts fatalities dashboard showed 59 cumulative COVID-19 fatalities for Hopkins County. That’s three more Hopkins County residents confirmed by death certificate to have died from COVID-19, including one COVID-19 death on Dec. 1. The DSHS County Trends report also shows a second COVID-19 death was reported to have occurred on Oct. 26 as well as a second COVID-19 death on Nov. 20.

The three additional deaths and 13 new cases gives Hopkins County a fatality rate of 6.34 percent among Hopkins County residents who have received positive COVID-19 test results

Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 County Trends Dec. 9 report

Hopkins County has a higher fatality rate among positive individuals than seven of the eight surrounding counties. Only Red River County, has a higher fatality rate among COVID positive residents. Out of a population of 12,023, a total of 249 Red River County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 18 residents who died from the virus; that’s 7.23 percent of the infected Red River County residents who have died from COVID-19.

Overall, 0.16 percent of Hopkins County’s population of nearly 37,100 residents have died from COVID; that is higher than any of the 8 counties surrounding Hopkins. Red River and Lamar counties come a close second, as 0.15 percent of the total population has died from COVID-19.

While Lamar County has had 75 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, the most in the 9-county area, that’s only 4.77 percent of the of the 1,573 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Lamar’s case count is the third highest in the area, behind Hunt and Titus counties.

Hunt County has had 2,961 residents test positive for COVID-19, including 65 who have died from novel coronavirus 2019. While that’s the second highest number of deaths and highest number of cases in the 9-county area, Hunt County’s fatality percentage among infected individuals was only2.2 percent.

Titus County has had 1,884 residents test positive, including 41 who died from COVID-19, giving the county a 2.18 fatality percentage among positive case.

CountyTotal Positive CasesCumulative FataliesFatality % In Positive Cases
Red River 249187.23
Data compiled from the Dec. 9 Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 Case Counts dashboards

Hospital Reports

Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials in the Dec. 9 COVID-19 update reported 22 patients in the COVID-19 unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs. The COVID-19 unit the three previous report periods (local hospital reports are not provided on weekends) maintained a patient count of 23, the same as on Dec. 1.

Across the state, there were only 675 ICU beds, 11,243 hospital beds and 7,274 ventilators available on Dec. 9. A total of 9,053 lab-confirmed COIVD-19 patients were in Texas hospitals, 65,287 hospital beds were staffed, including 59,759 staffed in patient beds, according to the DSHs Texas Case Counts hospital dashboard.

The percentage of COVID-19 hospitalizations out of total capacity of all Texas hospitals continued to fluctuate between 13.07 and 13.87 over the past 5 days, with small increased every day for the last four days. So, overall, Texas hospitals have remained below the “high hospitalization” threshold of 15 percent which is used to determine if additional measures are required for a particular Trauma Service Area to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

In Trauma Service Area F, which covers most of Northeast Texas, including Hopkins County and CMFH-SS, COVID-19 hospitalizations have hovered close to the 15 percent capacity threshold for three days, increasing from 12.66 percent on Dec. 6 to 14.1 percent on Dec. 7 and 14.65 Dec. 8. COVID-19 hospitalizations on Dec. 9 accounted for 14.34 percent of total hospital capacity.

On Dec. 9, there were 1,095 total staffed hospital beds, 157 lab confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital, 621 total hospitalizations and 1,004 total staffed inpatient beds in TSA-F. Only 6 ICU beds, 70 ventilators and 383 hospital beds were available in TSA-F on Wednesday.

Total Staffed Hospital Beds107810721095
Available Hospital Beds398395383
Available ICU Beds436
Available Ventilators636470
Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Patients in Hospital152157157
Total Hospitalizations589586621
Total Staffed Inpatient Beds9879811004
Percent Capacity14.114.8514.34

Eight TSA’s across the state have had to reduce capacity at certain venues from 75 percent back to 50 percent, and could mean closure of some businesses and delay of elective surgeries until the TSA goes 7 consecutive days with COVID-19 hospitalizations accounting for less than 15 percent of the total hospital capacity. Currently over the 15 percent threshold with Governor’s Executive Order GA-32 for reduce capacities in effect are TSA A which serves the Amarill area; TSA B which includes Lubbock; TSA D which includes Abilene; TSA E which includes the Dallas/Fort Worth area all the way east to Rockwall, Hunt and Kaufman counties; TSA I which includes El Paso, Culberson and Hudspeth counties; TSA J for the Midland/Odessa area; TSA M for the Waco area; and TSA T, which includes Laredo.

From those TSAs subject to restriction of GA-32, 4 of 17 counties in TSA J; 8 of 16 counties in TSA D; 9 of 22 counties in TSA B; and 7 of 25 counties in TSA-A had filed attestations to be excepted from those scaled back regulations because each had fewer than 30 confirmed COVID-91 cases reported in the previous 14 days.

Free COVID-19 Testing


According to HC/SSEM, 52 molecular COVID-19 tests were performed Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the free testing center in Sulphur Springs. That’s 171 tests performed this week and 582 tests conducted this month at the testing site. Cumulatively, there have been 5,113 oral swab tests performed at 128-A Jefferson Street since the Red Cross building was designated as a testing site on Sept. 25, according to the HC/SSEM Dec. 9 COVID-19 update.

According to DSHS testing and hospital dashboard, 11,576 tests have been performed in Hopkins County from March – Dec. 8.

Free molecular COVID-19 testing continues to be offered Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of December.

Testing is available for anyone, but registration must be completed by an adult age 18 or older in advance online at to schedule the oral COVID swab.

Those testing should bring the number with the QR code sent to them upon completion of registration and a photo ID to 128-A Jefferson St. at their designated time. This is not a drive-through location. The COVID-19 test will be performed inside the building.

Testers will be asked if they have consumed anything by mouth in the 15-20 minutes prior to arrival. Those who have will be required to wait the requisite time before testing to better ensure a more accurate result.

The Local Health Authority nurse recommends people getting the oral molecular swab test from the free state testing site refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, vaping, chewing gum or brushing their teeth for at least an hour prior to the test. Doing so, she reports, will make a difference in the outcome of the test.

The LHA also recommends those who do receive positive COVID-19 results from the free testing site contact their primary care provider so that information can be added to their individual health charts.

HHS Reports

Texas Health and Human Services reported there were only 3 active employee and five active residents COVID-19 cases among nursing home staff in Sulphur Springs. That’s 5 fewer active employee cases and HHS corrected the case count at Carriage House Manor to reflect 2 less cases as of Nov. 25, the most recent data available for Sulphur Springs nursing facilities in the Dec. 9 HHS report.

That left 1 active employee case each at Carriage House Manor, Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab and Sunny Springs Nursing & Rehab on Nov. 25. Four active resident cases were reported at Carriage House and one resident case at SSHR on Nov. 25, according to the Dec. 9 HHS nursing facility report.

There were no active COVID-19 cases reported on Nov. 25 at Sulphur Springs assisted living facilities, according to the HHS Dec. 9 report.

No active COVID-19 cases were reported in either employees or students at Hopkins County licensed child care centers, school-age programs, and before-school or after-school programs on Dec. 8.

Author: Faith Huffman

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