Texas Department of State Health Services and Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management’s Jan. 12 COVID-19 updates show a slight increase in COVID-19 recoveries in Hopkins County and the patient count in the local COVID unit remained unchanged on Tuesday. However, two additional COVID-19 fatalities have been confirmed for Hopkins County and an average of 12 new coronavirus cases have been reported daily this week and COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area F have continued to rise to new highs.
Twelve new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported Jan. 12, increasing the number of Hopkins County residents who have received positive molecular COVID-19 results so this week to 37: 12 each on Sunday and Tuesday and 13 on Monday. That makes 132 Hopkins County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 during the first 12 days of January. That’s just six fewer confirmed cases than were reported for Hopkins County from Dec. 1-12, 2020, but twice as many as during the first 12 days of November and 49 more cases than the first 12 days of October (the worse month so far during the pandemic, which ended a total of 323 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 29 confirmed fatalities). One of the cases recorded Jan. 12 for Hopkins County was an older case that has just been reported by the testing lab, according to the DSHS Jan. 12 COVID-19 Case Counts and County Trends dashboards.
DSHS removed one probable COVID-19 case from the overall total reported on Jan. 11. That decreases the total so far this week to two new probable cases and makes 70 probable cases so far this month and 1,187 probable cases reported for Hopkins County since the state began documenting results of people who test positive through an antigen test or have a combination of symptoms and a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 without a more likely diagnosis.
Six Hopkins County residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19 on Jan. 12, while that’s two more than on Monday, it’s still not enough to offset the new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported this week. In fact, while an average of 12 new confirmed cases have been been reported daily Jan. 10-12, only four recoveries were reported daily Jan. 8-11 and six on Tuesday. Even the 42 recoveries reported on Jan. 3 only brings the monthly total to 68 recoveries, which is two fewer than the probable case count. That makes 2,121 of the 2,441 cases that had recovered from the virus as of Jan. 12.
The DSHS Jan. 12 COVID-19 Texas Case Counts dashboard also showed 81 Hopkins County COVID-19 fatalities. That means two more Hopkins County residents have been confirmed to have died as a direct result of COVID-19.
That makes 6.58 percent of the estimated population of Hopkins County who have had COVID-19. While fatalities account for 0.21 percent of the total population, the death rate among the 2,441 Hopkins County residents who have had the virus is 3.24 percent.
The most recent deaths, according to the DSHS County Trends dashboard, occurred on Dec. 31 and Jan. 5. That makes 20 COVID-19 fatalities confirmed for December and three so far in January.
The December total could still increase as death certificates are filed with the state. DSHS defines COVID-19 deaths in the Texas COVID-19 – Data Definitions as “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.”
After all new cases are added, recoveries and fatalities subtracted, there were 239 Hopkins County residents who still actively had COVID-19 as of the state update at 3:55 p.m. on Dec. 12.
Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management in the Jan. 12 COVID-19 update reported 22 patients in the COVID-19 unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs at 2:15 p.m. That means while the patient count did not rise, it didn’t shrink any from Monday to Tuesday. The patient count over the last two days at CMFH-SS is the lowest COVID patient count since Dec. 18, when the COVID unit held 20 patients. And, 22 patients is still nearly 23 percent of the the total hospital capacity at CMFH-SS.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area F, which includes all hospitals in Northeast Texas, have over the last two days continued to rise. In fact, the Jan. 11 eclipsed even the previous record of 240 lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations set Jan. 8 by one patient. Not surprisingly, as the COVID-19 hospitalizations increased Jan. 11 so too did the number of hospitalizations, ICU beds and ventilators in use.
On Jan. 11, there 1,029 hospital beds were staffed in Trauma Service Area F, up from 995 on Jan. 10, but still far less than the 1,120 total staffed hospital beds in TSA-F on Dec. 30.
The number staffed inpatient beds also rose from 903 on Jan. 10 to 937 on Jan. 11; while rising, this weeks inpatient counts are still the lowest in either January or December.
A total of 627 hospitalizations were reported in TSA-F on Jan. 11, 41 more than on Jan. 10, but still 57 less than on Jan. 1 and 90 less hospitalizations than on Dec. 31.
That means COVID-19 hospitalizations on Jan. 11 made up 23. 42 percent of the total hospital capacity in TSA-F. That’s the highest percentage yet reported for a single day during the pandemic. That’s 1.41 percent more than on Jan. 10 and 0.88 percent more than the 22. 54 percent recorded on Jan. 8.
Due to the continued high hospitalizations, counties within Trauma Service Area F continue to be subject to restrictions outlined in GA-32, which include capacity reduction of businesses at 75 percent to 50 percent and no elective surgeries are halted. That will continue until TSA-F has seven consecutive days in which the COVID-19 percentage is less than 15 percent of the overall hospital capacity. The only counties in TSA-F exempt from the restrictions are Delta, Morris and Red River counties, which have had less than 30 new cases in 14 days and have filed the property paperwork for the exemption. The restrictions went into effect in TSA-F on Jan. 2.
Testing and Vaccine Data
HC/SSEM reported a total of 7,869 COVID-19 tests have been performed at 128-A Jefferson St. since the free testing center opened in September. That means 85 additional molecular tests were conducted at the free testing center on Monday,
DSHS reports that a total of 15,551 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Hopkins County through Jan. 11: 12,525 viral or molecular tests, 1,346 antigen tests and 1,680 antibody tests. That’s three additional antigen tests conducted on Monday, according to the DSHS Jan. 12 COVID-19 Test and Hospital Data dashboard.
Free oral swab (molecular) COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays in January inside the Red Cross (old Fidelity Express Building) in Sulphur Springs. Free testing is open to anyone regardless of age or address. Registration is required online at www.GoGetTested.com in order to be tested at 128-A Jefferson Street in Sulphur Springs.
DSHS also reported a total of 962 vaccinations were administered to 954 different people in Hopkins County, including 8 people who have now received both doses of the Moderna vaccine. All except 13 of the vaccinations had been administered by Sunday. 13 vaccines were administered on Monday, according to the DSHS dashboard.
Nursing Home Reports
Texas Health and Human Services in the Jan. 12 COVID-19 nursing facility report showed one additional resident COVID-19 fatality, 14 resident recoveries, 14 new resident cases and three new employee cases of COVID-19 at Rock Creek Health and Rehabilitation on Dec. 29 — the most recent information available from HHS for nursing facilities.
While all four employees had recovered, nine residents of Carriage House Manor still had COVID-19 on Dec. 29.
Sunny Springs Nursing & Rehab reported one employee had tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 29, the only active case at that time.
There were no active COVID-19 cases at Sulphur Springs Health & Rehabilitation on Dec. 29, according to the DSHS Jan. 12 COVID-19 nursing facilities report.
There were no active COVID-19 cases among staff or residents of assisted living facilities in Sulphur Springs on Dec. 28, according to the HHS Jan. 12 COVID-19 report.
No active employee or student case were reported at the six licensed child care centers, school-age programs, before-school and/or after-school programs in Hopkins County on Jan. 11.