Booster dose

Joe Jones of Tyler receives his booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration approved the booster late September. The CDC also recommends that certain groups who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine can receive a booster dose that can help strengthen protection against severe disease in populations whose immunity may have started to wane and who are at high-risk of exposure to COVID-19 or complications from severe disease.

Gregg County is third county in the seven-county Northeast Texas Public Health District to see its COVID-19 community spread levels fall from “substantial” to “moderate.”

Gregg County joined Henderson and Anderson counties with “moderate” COVID-19 community spread levels Monday after the spread continuously decreased for nearly two weeks.

As of Monday, Gregg County has a community spread level of 34.80, significantly lower than the week of Sept. 3 through 9, when the seven-day rolling rate reached 142.92.

Having a moderate spread level means there is a “sustained transmission with confirmed exposure within congregate settings, and potential for rapid increase in cases.” This occurs when the county sees from 10 to 35 new cases per day for seven days.

The level of community spread is determined by taking the average number of all COVID-19 positive cases from the previous seven days. That number is then divided by the population of the county and multiplied by 100,000. A county reaches “substantial” community spread when its seven-day rolling rate is at or more than 35 cases. Substantial community spread represents “large-scale, uncontrolled community transmission,” according to the health district.

Monday’s report saw decreases in the virus’ spread levels in Henderson county as in Thursday’s report, but a slight increase in Anderson county. Henderson is now at 27.10, and Anderson, 25.98, when last week, spread levels were at 24.73.

Also Monday, 178 total new COVID-19 cases were reported in Gregg County. NET Health’s twice-weekly report showed 84 new confirmed cases along with 94 probable cases. Total active cases within the county are at 4,071.

According to NET Health, there were 210 East Texans being treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals on Monday, which is about 46 percent lower than the high of 389, which was set earlier this month just after Labor Day weekend.

Data gathered in Monday’s report represents the past 96 hours, from noon Thursday to noon Monday.

On Monday, state data showed there were 512 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G on Sunday, the latest day for which numbers were available. The hospitalizations are about 89 fewer than the previous week. Of COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 205 of those were in ICUs and 181 patients were on ventilators. Earlier this month, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations in recent weeks have surpassed a peak in January when the single-day number of patients peaked at 684 on Jan. 6.

In Gregg County as of Monday, 56.54 percent of people 12 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 48.90 percent of residents 12 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

State data shows 84.53 percent of county residents 65 and older had been vaccinated with at least one dose as of Monday, while 77.86 percent had been fully vaccinated.

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