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Record breaking number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Southeast Texas on Wednesday

Health officials are continuously urging the Southeast Texas community to take necessary measures to stop the spread of the virus.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Southeast Texas reported 567 new positive COVID-19 cases Wednesday, which is the highest number of new COVID-19 cases reported during the pandemic.

The two previous record days were July 8, 2020, when 497 new cases were reported and December 8, 2020, when 484 new cases were reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Chambers County topped the count Wednesday with 242 new cases reported while Jefferson County was not far behind with 228 newly reported cases.

Hardin County reported 65 new cases, Liberty County reported 21, and no county reported any COVID-19 related fatalities.

Local hospitals are seeing such an increase in COVID-19 patients, that they had to install a mobile care unit to be set up outside the emergency center. 

Related: More patients than beds | Overflow tents at Baptist Hospitals to give doctors more room to work

Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas has seen such an increase in COVID-19 patients within the last two weeks that at one point, health officials said they had more patients than they had beds.

“We are inundated with COVID patients in the emergency room,” Ali Osman, medical director of Baptist Hospitals emergency, said. “At a certain point in time, we had more patients in the emergency department than we had beds in the hospital."

Baptist Hospitals was once down to zero COVID-19 patients being admitted. Now, with COVID-19 cases surging throughout the region, the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council is lending Baptist Hospitals a mobile care unit to be set up outside the emergency center.

The overflow tents will be for non-COVID-19 patients and will give the hospitals more room to work. The plan is to “triage, treat and street."

Health officials are continuously urging the Southeast Texas community to take necessary measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Related: Southeast Texas hospitals urging neighbors to help protect others as COVID-19 cases spike in region

The three hospital systems urging us all to limit our exposure to help protect our neighbors are The Medical Center of Southeast Texas, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas and CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System.

They put out a joint statement Tuesday, outlining the steps we all need to know to help stop the spread. 

The statement said in part, "It is proven, that when people wear a face mask in public, get vaccinated, maintain at least six feet from others, and practice frequent hand hygiene, it reduces the spread of the virus."

Further writing that they're imploring Southeast Texans to do these four simple things to save lives. The hospitals are pleading for people to take proper precautions to avoid ending up at the hospital.

“In four weeks’ time, we're rapidly approaching our peak numbers that we were at in 2020, and that's relevant because the delta variant is proving to be highly transmissible,"  Angie Hebert, vice president of communications, said.

Some officials believe, mask and vaccine mandates are the only ways to lower the recent surge. 

Related: Vaccine mandates could be key to lowering rate of recent surge, Beaumont doctor says

One Southeast Texas doctor said he believes the key to lowering the rate of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is to require vaccinations, whether it be for businesses, restaurants or even the government.

The recent surge in cases could have been avoided, health officials said. 

Positive COVID-19 cases dwindled tremendously a couple months ago as vaccinations were on the rise and people continued wearing masks, Dr. Msonthi Levine, board certified physician of internal medicine, said 

Once people stopped wearing their masks and vaccination rates began to decline, Southeast Texas set itself up for the latest surge in cases, Dr. Levine said.

Dr. Levine believes that if not enough people get vaccinated, the virus will continue to mutate, and the Southeast Texas community could find itself in the same situation over and over again. 

Related: Beaumont health department announces first confirmed case of COVID-19 delta variant

On July 29, 2021 Southeast Texas had its second confirmed case of the COVID-19 delta variant.

The Beaumont Public Health Department announced in a news release July 29 morning that they had received notice of a confirmed case of the delta variant.

The announcement came a week after Orange County announced it had confirmed its first case of the delta variant.

The delta variant has our attention and it should have yours, Beaumont Public Health Director Kenneth Coleman told 12News last week.

"My concern comes from the low vaccination rate and the number of people who have not been vaccinated. I'm very, very concerned," Coleman said last week.

Related: Here's how to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Southeast Texas

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.

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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.

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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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