M. Roberts Media, a news group that includes the Kilgore News Herald, the Longview News-Journal and other East Texas-area papers, reported Friday that public health officials announced 11 additional cases of the coronavirus and no new deaths — a day after virus fatalities increased by four.
Also, Gov. Greg Abbott told members of the media Thursday there would not be another lockdown in Texas.
Regional health organization the Northeast Texas Public Health District, known as NET Health, reported the new confirmed cases brought the cumulative count in Gregg County to 3,070, which does not include 1,543 probable cases in the county.
A case is considered probable when a positive result is returned from a rapid test that is not then laboratory confirmed.
Confirmed recoveries and coronavirus deaths in the county remained unchanged on Wednesday at 2,321 and 65, respectively.
Gregg County’s recent single-day increases in confirmed cases have rivaled numbers not seen since early August as 47 were announced Wednesday following 39 on Tuesday and 80 on Monday from the weekend.
On Wednesday, there were 684 confirmed active cases in the county, 941 probable active cases and four active cases in Gregg County Jail inmates.
New confirmed cases of COVID-19 also slowed Thursday in Smith County as NET Health announced 31 additional ones. Smith County’s confirmed cases rose by 145 on Wednesday, according to the health district.
With the new cases announced Thursday, the county has had 5,604 cumulative confirmed cases, which do not include 3,258 probable cases in county residents.
Confirmed recoveries and deaths from the virus on Thursday remained unchanged at 3,810 and 129, respectively.
On Thursday, there were 1,665 confirmed active cases in the county and 2,101 probable active cases.
Hospitalizations in Tyler for patients with confirmed or probable COVID-19 inched higher on Thursday to 193 from 191 on Wednesday.
The state on Thursday reported two fewer cases of the coronavirus in Rusk County and no additional deaths. The county has had 1,144 positive cases, according to the state, and 29 COVID-19 deaths.
As Texas shattered a single-day record with 12,000 new coronavirus cases reported, Abbott on Thursday ruled out another lockdown and accused local leaders of not enforcing existing restrictions.
Abbott made clear Texas will not retreat to lockdown measures again.
“It is important for everybody in the state to know that, statewide, we’re not going to have another shutdown,” Abbott said. “There’s an overestimation of exactly what a shutdown will achieve.”
He focused instead on the arrival of a new antibody drug similar to a treatment President Donald Trump received after contracting the virus last month. But supply of the drug, called bamlanivimab, is scarce for now. The largest hospital in the Rio Grande Valley, DHR Health, had 38 doses that it could begin administering soon as Friday, said Dr. Sohail Rao, president and CEO of DHR Health Institute for Research & Development.