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Jan. 19 COVID-19 Update: 1 Fatality, 5 New Cases, 139 Active Cases, 117 Fully Vaccinated In Hopkins County

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While one additional Hopkins County COVID-19 fatality was reported by the state on Tuesday, local officials report COVID-19 hospitalizations across the region seem to be stabilizing; and Texas Department of State Health Services reports the same number of new cases on Jan. 19 as on Jan. 18, and 117 people have been fully vaccinated in Hopkins County, according to the DSHS and Hopkins County Jan. 19 COVID-19 updates. Up to 700 more people are expected to receive the first dose of the vaccine by the end of the day Saturday in Hopkins County.

Case Counts

One additional Hopkins County resident was confirmed Jan. 19 to have died for COVID-19, for at total of 85 COVID-19 deaths confirmed by cause on death certificate to have died as a result of COVID-19. The death, according to the DSHS Jan. 19. COVID-19 Fatalities Over Time By County report, occurred on Dec. 29, making three deaths reported on that date. So far, 23 Hopkins County COVID-19 fatalities have been confirmed by death certificate and reported by DSHS to have occurred in December 2020. While there have been more than a dozen days on which two fatalities occurred, there have been only three days on which three COVID-19 fatalities occurred in Hopkins County: Oct. 18, Oct. 5 and Sept. 30, according to the Fatalities Over Time By County and County Trends reports.

Five new confirmed cases were reported on Tuesday, one more confirmed case than was reported on Monday, but two less than on Sunday. That makes 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported so far this week, which is 21 less confirmed cases than the first three days of last week and 29 less than the week of Jan. 3-9. Cumulatively, 183 Hopkins County residents have received lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 results from molecular testing this month and 1,305 have had confirmed COVID-19 cases since March 2020, according to the DSHS Ja. 19 COVID-19 Case Counts dashboard.

Based on DSHS Jan. 1 through Jan. 19 COVID-19 Case Counts dashboard information

There were no probable cases reported on Jan. 19, so the total this week remains four. While that’s still two more than this time last week, it’s eight less than the week of Jan. 3-9. So far this month, 96 probable cases have been reported. Since the state began tracking probable cases, that is those of people who have either tested 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, Hopkins County has had 1,213 probable cases.

Cumulatively, that’s 2,518 COVID-19 cases reported to DSHS officials since the pandemic began in March 2020. No new recoveries were reported on either Monday or Tuesday, although there were 80 recoveries on Saturday and 50 on Sunday. So far, that’s 240 recoveries reported during January. Cumulatively, 2,293 of the 2,518 cases have recovered from the virus.

That leaves 139 Hopkins County residents who actively had COVID-19 as of 2:40 p.m. Jan. 18, four more than on Monday, and nine more than on Sunday, but 32 less than on Saturday and 100 less than on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13.

Hospital Reports, GA-32 Measures

Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials reported 26 patients in the COVID-19 Unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs on Jan. 19, which is two less than on Jan. 14 and three less than on Jan. 15 and Jan. 4, and six less than on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8.

The COVID-19 patient count at CMFH-SS went as high as 33 in the last two weeks, but has remained below 30 for the last week, CMFH-SS CEO Paul Harvey said. Hospital health professionals have been able to appropriately manage COVID and non COVID patients, both critical and normal medical surgical, through the pandemic, to ensure all appropriate procedures needed to manage health conditions are done.

He said there was at least one time recently when all hospitals across Northeast Texas were full, to the point that they were temporarily unable to send patients to Longview, Tyler, Texarkana and Dallas hospitals for more critical care needs. But, he said, the staff were good to manage that.

COVID-19 patient counts have stabilized and appear to be declining a little bit in CHRISTUS facilities across Northeast Texas, specifically in regions F and G. While COVID-19 hospitalizations still account for more than 15 percent of overall hospital capacity, if the current trend continues, those rates could potentially drop below the 15 percent high hospitalization threshold in the next week or two, the hospital officer reported Tuesday afternoon.

In Trauma Service Area F – which covers all of Northeast Texas from Bowie and Cass Counties across to Lamar, Delta and Hopkins Counties – there were 210 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Jan. 18, which is the same as on Jan. 4, 16 less than on Jan. 17, 22 less than on Jan. 16, 31 less than on Jan. 11, but still four more than on Jan. 5, and 46 more than on Dec. 26.

Total staffed hospital beds declined Monday for third consecutive day, from 1,068 on Jan. 15 to 1,058 on Jan. 16, 1,044 on Jan. 17 and 1,011 on Jan. 18. Total hospitalizations across TSA-F declined for the second day in a row, down from 232 on Jan. 16 to 625 on Jan. 17 and 597 on Jan. 18 – the first day since Dec. 27 that there were fewer than 600 hospitalizations across TSA-F. There were fewer staffed inpatients beds for the third consecutive day as well, down from 976 on Jan. 15 to 966 on Jan. 16, 952 on Jan. 17 and 919 on Jan. 18.

Available in TSA-F on Jan. 18 were eight ICU beds, one more than on Jan. 17 and seven more than on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3, but two less than on Jan. 16 and four less than on Jan. 14. Seventy-two ventilators were available in TSA-F on Jan. 18, one less than on Jan. 17 and five less than on Jan. 12, but still 13 more than on Jan. 6 and eight more than on Jan. 14.

COVID-19 hospitalizations accounted for 20.77 percent of the total hospital capacity in TSA-F on Jan. 18, down from 21. 65 on Jan. 17, 21.93 percent on Jan. 16 and 23.42 percent on Jan. 11.

TRAUMA SERVICE AREA F1/121/131/141/151/161/171/18
Total Staffed Hospital Beds10221,0511,0661,06810581,0441,011
Available Hospital Beds315310316321308327322
Available ICU Beds7121191078
Available Ventilators77746470707372
Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Patients in Hospital231232220221232226210
Total Hospitalizations615649658655658625597
Total Staffed Inpatient Beds930959974976966952919
Percent Capacity22.622.0720.6420.6921.9321.6520.77

TSA-F has been considered according to GA-32 to have “high hospitalizations” since Dec. 26, and has been on the list for high hospitalizations since Jan. 2, which means certain businesses allowed in October to open with 75 percent capacity are supposed to have reduced capacity back to 50 percent.

Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom Tuesday afternoon said he’s talked to some retail and restaurant owners. Many restaurants proprietors said they hadn’t really reached 75 percent capacity since being allowed to do so, so scaling back to 50 percent hasn’t impacted their business as much it has some other businesses. Newsom said reported that the business owners indicated if they stay close to that 50 percent they will be able to stay in operation, but cannot stand reductions of much more than that.

Newsom said that local officials announced the need for reduction and are dependent on the businesses to “do what they’re supposed to do” and self regulate as local officials “don’t have staffing” to regulate them. City and county officials ask businesses to honor that reduction in capacity as applicable to their enterprise as the state has asked them to do. Bars and businesses that serve alcoholic beverages and others that have to have certifications are regulated to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and state agencies.

COVID-19 Vaccines

DSHS’s Jan. 19 COVID-19 Vaccine dashboard showed a total of 1,213 COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Hopkins County as of 11:59 p.m. Jan. 18. That’s 40 more people who have received at least the first dose of the vaccine in Hopkins County. Cumulatively, 117 people have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, 22 more than on Jan. 17, and 1,096 had received the first dose of the vaccine on Jan. 18, 12 more than on Jan. 17.

CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic-Sulphur Springs received 700 doses of they vaccine Tuesday afternoon Jan. 19. Appointments for the vaccine are being made exclusively via chatbot for individuals who meet 1A (healthcare worker or first responder) and 1B (over 65, or age 16 and up with certain underlying health conditions that place them in the “high risk” category). They are only offered Jan. 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 23 at the clinic at Medical Plaza.

Registration for appointments the vaccine at the clinic opened at 3 p.m. Tuesday for slots open Wednesday evening. All filled up by 3:30 p.m. Registration resumed Wednesday morning for slots available late Wednesday evening and on Saturday, for up to 700. Appointments will continue to be available until all slots are filled. In the event slots open up, they will be made available on the website “virtual assistant” Christy, the yellow chat box, so anyone who has difficulty registering or is told there are no appointments are encouraged by CHRISTUS officials to continue checking back for opening.

CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs was initially one of three providers allocated vaccine in Week 2 of distribution. However, after a few days, the hospital was removed from the list. The clinic and Brookshire’s Pharmacy remained on it and received doses later. After working with a couple of legislative support staff local authorities were eventually able to get the 400 doses originally allocated for the hospital; all were administered to health care professionals and first responders, including employees at one local nursing home and some local school district nurses. Doses for the nursing care facility (the others did not respond when local officials reached out offering the vaccines) were administered at the facility but tracked through the hospital.

Before the hospital received doses, some CHRISTUS associates received the Pfizer vaccine at another CHRISTUS facility, according to Harvey. Those individuals have already gotten their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as that dose is due in 21 days, while the Moderna vaccine has one additional week before the second dose is due. Many of those in the first week of COVID-19 vaccine administration in Hopkins County have now also had the second vaccine.

Local doses administered were Moderna vaccine. The clinic distributed all of the first dose to any 1A workers and those meeting the 1B criteria on a Wednesday and Saturday. Among them were some school district employees who met 1B criteria, but it was not offered to other school employees, Harvey noted. Both Brookshire’s and the clinic were allocated additional vaccine to distribute.

Harvey said there are still some 1A employees from the other counties that CMFH-SS serves who have yet to receive the vaccine that are anticipated to be among those receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from the 700 allocated to the clinic this week.

One hundred additional doses of the vaccine are due next week at CHRISTUS’ Sulphur Springs facilities to provide the second dose to 100 more individuals vaccinated there.

Newsom, during a Zoom press conference with local emergency management and hospital officials Tuesday afternoon, said while Hopkins County Emergency Management has no say in the vaccination allocations, distributions and providers (that’s handle strictly by the state), he was able to speak with a state contact. Newsom was told vaccination is allocated “per capita.” Hopkins County, he said is within 1 percent or less of all other counties in the state in vaccine allocations. He praised the local vaccine providers for getting all of the vaccines out as quickly as possible, and noted that Hopkins County is fortunate in receiving vaccines. There are some smaller counties that have not received any vaccines, he noted.

Officials said they have been told a third vaccine is expected to be approved no later than March, and it will only require one shot if it receive approval and is distributed as predicted.

Test Data

A total of 8,261 COVID-19 tests have been conducted at 128-A Jefferson Street since the site opened, including 206 free tests performed from Jan. 14 to Jan. 18, according to the HC/SSEM Jan. 19 COVID-19 update.

Cumulatively since March, 13,153 viral or molecular COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Hopkins County. Since the state began tracking the data, 1,482 antigen tests and 1,751 antibody tests have been conducted in Hopkins County. That makes 16,386 total COVID-19 tests performed in Hopkins County and reported to DSHS.

Author: Faith Huffman

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