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Texas and Jefferson Co. set record for coronavirus hospitalizations

Summer surge of COVID-19 cases impacting Southeast Texas

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Texas — There are now more Texans in the hospital with coronavirus than ever before as the summer surge of the potentially deadly virus continues. 

For the 12th consecutive day, Texas saw a new record for hospitalizations on Tuesday. The state reported 4,092 people in the hospital with the virus. That's up from 3,711 the day before. Cases have been rising consistently since June 1. 

Texas also reported 5,489 positive cases of COVID-19, another one-day high for the state. It's the seventh day in a row of at least 3-thousand positive cases. 

Part of that rise is due to more testing. However, the positivity rate, the number of people who test positive for the virus, is at 9.76%. The number has been climbing since June 13 when the positivity rate was 6.11%. The highest positivity rate recorded in Texas was 13.86% on April 13. 

Credit: AP Images

JEFFERSON COUNTY NUMBERS

Southeast Texas is also seeing records set during this summer surge of coronavirus. 

In Jefferson County, there are now 70 people in the hospital, according to the tracking group SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC). That's the highest total recorded since the pandemic began. 

Credit: KBMT

Among the 70 hospitalized in Jefferson Co. are 34 people in ICU, which is also the highest number seen since the pandemic began. 

The number of hospitalizations reported by SETRAC this week are the highest consistent numbers seen since early April. Numbers from SETRAC lag by a day. The 70 hospitalizations were reported June 23 but are numbers from June 22.

Southeast Texas is undergoing more testing and the region is seeing more positive cases of the virus because of this. The 14-day moving average has been rising since the beginning of June and is now approaching an average of 40 positive cases per day. At the height of the pandemic, Southeast Texas saw roughly 20 cases per day. 

Credit: KBMT
Daily COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County as of June 23, 2020.
Credit: KBMT
Daily COVID-19 cases in Southeast Texas as of June 23, 2020.

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

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Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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