Gregg County’s 15 new COVID-19 cases community spread | Coronavirus – Longview News-Journal

Gregg County recorded 15 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 284.

Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne said all the new cases are community spread.

“That’s not good,” he said Saturday.

On Friday, the county reported 20 new cases, but 10 of those were connected to testing of Gregg County Jail inmates.

Browne said Friday that the county probably will see more cases “because of opening up.”

“That goes back to: opening up is OK, but you need to start protecting yourself.”

Gregg County Health Administrator A.J. Harris said 2,250 total tests had been administered in the county as of Saturday, with 1,858 returning negative and 108 results pending.

The county’s tally of recoveries was unchanged Saturday at 63, Harris said, and it has recorded six deaths related to COVID-19.

Upshur County Judge Todd Tefteller reported late Friday that his county recorded four new virus cases raising the total there to 25. Upshur County has had 14 recoveries.

Chad Sims, judge in Harrison County, said Saturday that five more cases were reported, bringing the county’s total to 247.

Harrison County has seen 24 virus-related fatalities along with 80 recoveries.

And Titus County Judge Brian Lee said free COVID-19 testing is scheduled Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Mount Pleasant Civic Center, but there is “no guarantee” how long it will take to get results.

Lee expressed his frustration in a statement Friday with delays in getting test results from the state after May 9 mobile testing in Mount Pleasant and a May 19 and 20 voluntary testing of all Pilgrim’s chicken processing plant employees in the city.

“We continue to wait for final numbers …,” Lee wrote Friday. “I expect to see over 500 (COVID-19 cases) when we do, based on preliminary conversations with (the Texas Division of Emergency Management). I have not been provided with an explanation of the test results delay despite our efforts.”

As of Friday, there were 44 COVID-19 hospitalized patients in the counties of Marion, Harrison, Panola, Rusk, Shelby, Trinity, Gregg, Upshur, Cherokee, Freestone, Houston, Rains, Franklin, Van Zandt and the eastern portions of Anderson, Henderson, Smith, Wood and Camp, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Across the state

Texas reported 1,332 more cases of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total number of known cases to 62,338. In the last week, the state reported an average of 1,118 new cases per day.

Kinney County reported its first case Saturday; almost every county in Texas has reported at least one confirmed case of the virus. Harris County has reported the most cases, 12,009, followed by Dallas County, which has reported 9,787 cases.

The state has reported 22 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 1,648. In the last week, the state reported an average 20 additional deaths per day. Harris County reported four additional deaths Saturday, bringing its total to 228 deaths, more than any other county.

Gov. Greg Abbott is looking at two specific metrics to justify his decision to restart the Texas economy — the positive test rate and hospitalization levels. As of yesterday, at least 928,517 viral tests and 98,932 antibody tests have been administered.

The positive test rate is the percentage of new cases to viral tests conducted. The current average daily infection rate of 4.7% is calculated by dividing the 7-day average of viral tests conducted by the 7-day average of positive cases. This shows how the situation has changed over time by de-emphasizing daily swings. Public health experts want the infection rate to remain below 6%.

As of Saturday, 1,752 patients are known to be hospitalized in Texas. That’s an increase of 51 patients from Friday.

And next fall, Texas A&M students may be assigned which days they’re allowed to go to class and which days class they’ll be asked to stay home and follow along from their laptops. If there are 50 people in a math class, for example, half of them will be allowed to attend in person while the other half views online. For the next class, the students would swap places.

This is just one of the measures in a plan Texas A&M University System officials approved Friday in an effort to create social distance in traditionally crowded classrooms.

The guidance will apply across the board to each of the system’s 11 institutions. A&M is the first major university system in the state to formally adopt plans for the fall, though officials warned there is much more work to be done before classes begin in August.

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