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Jan. 8 COVID-19 Update: 12 New Cases, 4 Recoveries, 217 Active Cases

In Hopkins County, two people had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and four Hopkins County residents had recovered, there were also 12 new coronavirus cases and the local COVID unit was within three patients of reaching capacity, Texas Department of State Health Services and Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials reported in Jan. 8 COVID-19 reports. Trauma Service Area F Friday reported a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday.

Case Counts

Six additional Hopkins County residents had tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases so far this week (Jan. 3-8) to 84 and this month to 93. Cumulatively, since March, 1,215 Hopkins County residents have received positive COVID-19 test results.

Six new probable cases were also reported on Friday, Jan. 8, for Hopkins County. That makes 30 probable cases reported the first six days of this week and 61 new probable cases reported during the first eight days of January. Since the state began tracking probable cases, defined by DSHS and the CDC as people who tested positive through an antigen test or has a combination of symptoms and a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 without a more likely diagnosis, there have been 1,178 probable cases logged for Hopkins County.

Based on HC/SSEM updates and DSHS case count reports; negative counts typically represent DSHS adjustments made when cases mistakenly counted and reported more than once

Four additional Hopkins County residents had recovered from COVID-19, according to the Jan. 8 COVID-19 Case Counts dashboard. So far in 2021, 50 Hopkins County residents have recovered from COVID-19, 42 on Sunday, one Wednesday, three Thursday and four more by 3:50 p.m. Friday.

Cumulatively, 154 new COVID-19 cases have been logged so far this month and 2,393 cases (counting both confirmed and probable cases) since March for Hopkins County.

No additional COVID-19 fatalities were confirmed for Hopkins County, so the death count stands at 73. According to Texas Health and Human Services, the four nursing homes in Sulphur Springs had reported a total of 50 resident COVID-19 deaths as of Dec. 23, the most recent data available for nursing facilities.

With only four recoveries to offset new cases, the active case count in Hopkins County rose from 209 on Thursday to 217 on Friday. That’s 217 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases who may still be sick” in Hopkins County.

Hospital Reports

Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs Emergency Management officials in the Jan. 8 COVID-19 update reported 32 patients in the COVID-19 Unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs for the second consecutive day. That’s the most patients reported in the unit at CMFH-SS, just three patients short of full capacity in the COVID unit.

The COVID-19 patient count reached a new pandemic high in Trauma Service Area F on Jan. 7, with 235 patients in the hospital Thursday. In fact, COVID-19 hospitalizations accounted for 22.3 percent of the overall hospital capacity (the total number of all staffed beds in TSA hospitals) on Jan. 7. That’s 17 more COVID-19 hospitalizations on Thursday than on Wednesday, with COVID-19 capacities accounted for another 2.66 percent of the total hospital capacity.

COVID-19 percent of daily hospital capacity in Trauma Service Area F, according to DSHS data.

While COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen over the last few days, the total number of staffed hospital beds in TSA-F has decreased from 1,088 Tuesday to 1,073 Wednesday and 1,054 Thursday.

While there were 306 beds and 67 ventilators available on Thursday, only three ICU beds available in Trauma Service Area F Jan. 8, one less than on Wednesday — which is the most ICU beds available in the last seven days, according the DSHS Jan. 8 Test and Hospital Data Dashboard and Combined Hospital Data over Time by Trauma Service Area (TSA) report.

Thursday was the 13th day of high hospitalizations, that is days in which COVID-19 hospitalizations made up 15 percent or more of the total hospital capacity in the trauma service area, according to the DSHS report. That means restaurants and most businesses in Hopkins County and four other counties in TSA-F are restricted to 50 percent capacity for at least 7 more days, per Governor’s Executive Order GA-32.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

According to DSHS, two people in Hopkins County have now received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, one male and one female, both between 16 and 49 years; and 377 others had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 7. According to the DSHS data, that’s 252 women and 125 men who are scheduled for a second dose of the vaccine in the near future. The majority of vaccines in Hopkins County went to people ages 16-49 years, 113 ages 50-64 years, 85 people ages 65-79 and 24 age 80 or older, the Jan. 8 COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard.

Additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including a Texas COVID‑19 Vaccine Provider Locations map, can be found by clicking the COVID-19 Vaccine Information link on the DSHS COVID-19 page (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/).

COVID-19 Testing

HC/SSEM’s Jan. 8 COVID-19 update showed a total of 7,636 molecular COVID tests had been
performed at the free testing center as of 6 p.m. Thursday. That means 92 additional oral swab COVID-19 tests were conducted at 128-A Jefferson Street on Jan. 7, and 439 so far this week.

A total of 12,241 viral COVID-19 tests have been conducted had been conducted in Hopkins County since the pandemic began. Molecular tests, according to DSHS, diagnose current infections by looking for a germ’s genetic material. For COVID-19, molecular tests include nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR tests (which PCR tests look for pieces of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract to determine if the person has an active infection) and loop mediated isothermic amplification (LAMP) tests. A positive molecular test is required to meet criteria as a confirmed case.

Twenty-three additional COVID-19 antigen tests were performed in Hopkins County on Jan. 7, increases the cumulative total to 1,275. Antigen tests are nasal swab tests that can show a current infection by looking for proteins on the outside of a germ. They can be performed rapidly where the test is collected. Under the national case definitions, positive antigen tests indicate probable cases, not confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Four additional COVID-19 antibody tests were also conducted in Hopkins County on Jan.7, increasing the total number conducted so far to 1,674. Antibody tests are blood tests that can show whether a person had a past infection by looking for proteins the body creates to fight an infection. Antibody tests, also called serology tests, can’t always determine how long it has been since someone had COVID-19, however.

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.

Author: Faith Huffman

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