As COVID-19 counts continue to rise, not surprisingly, so too do COVID-19 hospitalizations. In fact, the highest COVID-19 patient count in not only the local COVID unit but across Trauma Service Area F were reported in Texas Department of State Health Services and Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management’s Jan. 7 COVID-19 updates.
The 13 new confirmed COVID-19 cases increase the total number of new molecular so far this week to 87, which officially has January outpacing the first week of all other months so far during the pandemic. Even October and December, the two months with the highest total new confirmed COVID-19 cases, had fewer confirmed cases during the first seven days of the month than January.
While October had 323 total new confirmed COVID-19 cases, only 38 Hopkins County residents had received positive molecular novel coronavirus 2019 results during the first seven days of the month. Even December, which started at a fast clip with 44 new cases reported on the third alone, concluded with only 290 new molecular cases, 81 of which were reported during the first seven days of the month.
Cumulatively, 1,209 Hopkins County residents have received lab-confirmed positive molecular COVID-19 tests results. Two additional new probable cases were also reported on Jan. 7 for Hopkins County, for a total of 55 new probable cases identified so far this this month and 1,172 probable cases since the state began tracking the data in the fall.
Combined, that’s 142 new COVID-19 cases reported during the first seven days of 2021. Cumulatively, 2,381 COVID-19 cases have been reported to DSHS for Hopkins County since the pandemic began in March 2020, including 2,099 cases that have recovered from the virus and 209 active cases.
HC/SSEM officials this week have daily reported one additional patients in the COVID unit, beginning with 29 patients on Jan. 4 up to the 32 patients (34.59 percent of the hospital capacity) reported in the Jan. 7 COVID-19 update. The hospital has up to 35 beds that can be utilized for COVID-19 patients. Until this month, the most patients reported to be in the CMFH-SS COVID Unit at one time was 30 on Dec. 30.
COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to be high in Trauma Service Area F on Jan. 6 as well, with 218 COVID-19 patients accounting for 20.32 percent of 1,073 staffed hospital beds in hospitals across the Northeast Texas area. That’s up from 18.92 percent on Jan. 5, when COVID patients took up 206 of the 1,088 staff hospital beds in TSA F hospitals. That eclipses the 20.21 percent reported on Jan. 4, when COVID-19 patients occupied 210 of the 1,039 staffed hospital beds, and the 216 patients reported on Dec. 31, when they COVID-19 patients made up 19.03 percent of the 1,135 staffed beds in TSA F.
Trauma Service Area F has had “high hospitalizations,” defined by DSHS as days in which COVID-19 hospitalizations account for 15 percent or more of the total hospital capacity for a trauma service area, for 12 days so far, starting Dec. 26 and continuing through Jan. 6.
The DSHS Jan. 7 COVID-19 Testing and Hospital Data dashboard also showed there to be just four ICU beds available in the entire trauma service area, the same as on Jan. 1 and Dec. 4, but three more than on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3.
On Jan. 2, after the seventh consecutive day of high hospitalizations, businesses, libraries, museums and restaurants in counties in Trauma Service Area F that had been allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity were required by Governor’s Order GA-32 to scale back to 50 percent capacity. That order is in effect for 17 of the 22 Trauma Service areas in Texas. In order to return to 75 percent capacity, TSAs must have seven consecutive day in which COVID-19 hospitalizations remain below the 15 percent total capacity threshold.
In Trauma Service Area F, Hopkins, Bowie, Cass, Lamar and Titus Counties have a least seven more days before that is possible. Delta, Morris and Red River Counties can remain at 75 percent capacity because they have filed the property paperwork attesting teach has had less than 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days.
HC/SSEM officials in the Jan. 7 COVID-19 update reported 7,544 molecular COVID-19 tests have been conducted at 128-A Jefferson Street since the facility was converted to a free testing center, including 86 tests on Wednesday and 576 tests in the last week.
DSHS reported a total of 15,124 COVID-19 tests have been in Hopkins County: 12,202 viral (molecular) tests; 1,252 antigen tests; and 1,670 antibody tests. That’s an increase of 115 additional tests conducted on Jan. 6.
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.
Texas Health and Human Services reported another resident of Carriage House Manor had died as a result of COVID-19 on Dec. 23. The facility also had still had 12 resident cases and four active employee cases on Dec. 23, the most recent data available from HHS as of the Jan. 7 COVID-19 nursing facility report as data was not recorded on Dec. 24-25, which were holidays, nor is it recorded on weekends.
The HHS report also showed 19 active employee and 40 active resident COVID-19 cases for Rock Creek Health and Rehabilitation LLC, and three active employee cases at Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab, on Dec. 23.
Wesley House also was reported on Dec. 23 to have one active employee COVID-19 case on Dec. 23, according to HHS’ Jan. 7 COVID-19 assisted living facility report.
Nineteen additional people in Hopkins County had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 6. Of the 329 vaccines administered, 213 were female and 113 male, with three unknown. A total of 126 people ages 16-49 years, 102 ages 50-64 years, have been vaccinated in Hopkins County, 77 ages 65-79 years and 24 ages 80 and older, according to the DSHS COVID-19 Vaccine dashboard.