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Jan. 21 COVID-19 Update: 2 Fatalities, 9 New Cases, 50 Recoveries

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While Texas Department of State Health Services Jan. 21 COVID-19 dashboards show two additional Hopkins County COVID-19 fatalities and nine new COVID-19 cases, the state also reported 50 Hopkins County corona virus recoveries and a significant decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations across the region.

Jan. 21 COVID-19 Case Counts

DSHS’s Texas Case Counts dashboard shows a total of 1,314 Hopkins County residents have received lab-confirmed positive molecular COVID-19 results since the pandemic began spreading across Hopkins County last March, including six new confirmed cases on Jan. 21 — twice as many as on Wednesday. That makes 25 new confirmed cases so far this week and 192 cases so far this month.

The Jan. 21 COVID-19 Case Counts dashboard also showed Hopkins County has had 1,225 probable novel coronavirus 2019 cases as well. Probable cases are those of people who have either tested positive for COVID-19 through an antigen test or have a combination of symptoms and a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 without a more likely diagnosis. The cumulative total includes three new probable cases reported as of 4:10 p.m. Thursday, which is six fewer than on Wednesday, and makes 16 new probable cases this week and 108 so far this month.

With both confirmed and probable cases combined, that’s 2,539 Hopkins County COVID-19 cases reported to DSHS as of Thursday afternoon, Jan. 21.

(Graphic: Texas Department of State Health Services Jan. 21, 2021 COVID-19 County Trends)

A total of 89 COVID-19 fatalities have been confirmed for Hopkins County, which means two additional Hopkins County residents deaths were confirmed Thursday by “cause” on their death certificates to be from COVID-19. The two latest deaths are shown in the County Trends chart to have occurred on Jan. 9 and Jan. 19. That makes seven Hopkins County residents who have died this month from COVID-19: two each on Jan. 2 and Jan. 5, and one on Jan. 3.

DSHS’ Jan. 21 COVID-19 Case Counts dashboard did have some good news Thursday. The Hopkins County recovery total increased to 2,343, which means that 50 of the 150 people who actively still had COVID-19 on Wednesday had recovered from the virus on Thursday. Although the announcement followed three days with no recoveries reported at all, Thursday’s new recoveries make 180 in the last seven days (80 were reported on Friday and 50 on Saturday) and 290 recoveries so far this week.

Accounting for the nine new cases, two newly reported fatalities and 50 new recoveries, that leaves 107 Hopkins County residents who actively had COVID-19 as Thursday afternoon, Jan. 21.

Hospital Reports

Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials in the Jan. 21 COVID-19 update reported 26 patients in the COVID unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs. Jan. 21 marks the third consecutive day the COVID unit patient count has remained 26.

Across Trauma Service Area F, which includes all hospitals from Bowie County westward to Lamar and Hopkins counties, COVID-19 hospitalizations declined significantly on Jan. 20, according to the DSHS Jan. 21 Test and Hospital Data dashboard. On Wednesday, 186 total hospitalizations were reported, 50 less than on Tuesday when COVID-19 hospitalization reached their highest peaked thus far.

Wednesday’s overall total was the lowest COVID-19 patient count in TSA-F in 22 days. The last time there were less COVID-19 patients TSA-F hospitals was Jan. 29, when 167 total COVID-19 patients were reported and made up 15 percent of the total hospital capacity. On Jan. 20, COVID-19 patients accounted for only 18.09 percent of the total hospital capacity in Trauma Service Area F, down from 22.35 percent on Jan. 19 and 23.43 percent on Jan. 11.

Percent of total hospital capacity COVID-19 hospitalizations make up in Trauma Service Area F

Thursday 1,028 hospital beds were staffed in TSA-F, marking the fifth consecutive day of decreases: from 1,068 on Jan. 15 to 1,058 on Jan. 16, 1,044 on Ja. 17, 1,056 on Jan. 19 and 1,028 on Jan. 20.

A total of 936 inpatient beds were staffed on Jan. 20, down from 964 on Jan. 19. There were 619 hospitalizations in TSA-F on Jan. 20, six more 14 more than on Jan. 19 and 22 more tan on Jan. 18, but still 39 less than on Jan. 16 and 98 less than on Dec. 31.

Even with the reduction in cases, TSA-F continues to remain in the list of areas with “high hospitalizations” and subject to GA-32 restrictions until COVID-19 hospitalizations account for less than 15 percent of the overall hospital capacity for seven consecutive days.

COVID-19 Testing

HC/SSEM, in the Jan. 21 COVID-19 update, reported 8,418 COVID-19 tests have been performed at 128-A Jefferson St. since the Red Cross building was converted in September as a free testing center, including 74 molecular tests conducted on Jan. 20. In the last seven days, 363 free oral swab tests have been conducted at that location.

Those are among the 13,311 cumulative COVID-19 viral (molecular) tests conducted in Hopkins County since March. Another 27 antigen tests were conducted in Hopkins County on Wednesday, increasing the total number of antigen tests reported to DSHS since the state began tracking the data to 1,515. The four antibody tests conducted on Wednesday increased the overall total to 1,755 antibody tests conducted in Hopkins County and reported to DSHS. Cumulatively, at least 16,581 COVDI-19 tests had been conducted in Hopkins County as of Jan. 20, according to the DSHS Jan. 21 COVID-19 Test and Hospital Data dashboard.

Free oral swab 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.

COVID-19 Vaccine

A total of 1,366 COVID-19 vaccinations had been conducted in Hopkins County as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, according to the Jan. 21 COVID-19 Vaccine Data dashboard. A total of 1,187 people had received the first dose of the vaccine and 179 had received the second dose of the vaccine as of Wednesday night.

That’s nine additional people who received the first dose of the two-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday: 325 people 16-49 years of age, 106 males and 325 females; 293 people 50-64 years of age, 97 men and 194 women; 416 people 65-79 years of age, 180 men and 236 women; 151 people age 80 years or older, 57 men and 94 women; and two for whom no demographic data was available.

Thirty-three additional people received the second dose of the vaccine, 76 people 16-49 years of age, 21 men and 54 women; 63 people age 50-64 years of age, 19 men and 43 women; 32 people 65-79 years of age, 16 men and 16 women; and eight people age 80 years or older, two men and six women.

COVID-19 vaccines are currently only available for healthcare workers and emergency responders (category 1A) and people ages 65 and older or ages 16 and older who have certain health issues which place them at “high risk” for the virus (category 1B). Doses of the vaccine are still in short supply and are distributed to providers through the state, which allocates how many doses and which approved providers receive the doses in counties across the state. The COVID-19 vaccine isn’t expected to be available to the general public until March or later.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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