As of the beginning of the week, Kilgore has added two new coronavirus cases, according to the city’s weekly virus update.

Both of those cases are in the Gregg County portion of the city: Kilgore now has 15 positive cases, up from 13 last week. Twelve of them are in Gregg County inside the city limits, with three of them in the Rusk County portion of Kilgore.

Within the Kilgore portion of Gregg County, there have been 283 total tests, the report states, with 258 negative, eight pending, and four recoveries. In Gregg County as a whole, there are right now 315 confirmed cases, with 126 test results pending, and 86 recoveries. Rusk County reported a total of 34 recoveries.

Unfortunately, the numbers in some areas of the state are not as positive.

According to the Associated Press, Houston area officials unveiled a new color-coded threat level warning system Thursday for the public amid increasing concerns that virus- related hospitalizations are at their highest levels since the pandemic began, and have consistently risen as the state reopens.

In Harris County, where Houston is located, the number of people hospitalized with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 has gone from 479 on May 1, when Texas started to reopen its businesses, to 776 as of Wednesday, an increase of 62%, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, a state group that coordinates the region’s emergency response to disasters.

The new threat level system has four levels: one or red for severe, two or orange for significant, three or yellow for moderate and four or green for minimal. Currently, again according to the Associated Press, Harris County is at level two, which asks people to minimize contact with others and avoid medium or large gatherings. It is similar to other COVID-19 related warning systems previously set up in other locations, including Dallas.

Gov. Greg Abbott said this week he was “concerned but not alarmed.” He has not signaled any intention of putting social or business restrictions back in place.

Hospitalizations statewide have mostly been increasing since June 1. On Thursday, the state reported 2,008 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, slightly down from the record high of 2,153 reported on Wednesday.

On Thursday, state health officials reported 81,583 positive cases, an increase of 1,826 from the prior day. That was down from the single-day state record of more than 2,500 new cases set on Wednesday. Officials reported 35 new deaths on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 1,920. Harris has the most cases of any county in the state, with 15,552.

Associated Press information was utilized in this story.

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