Public health officials on Thursday reported 389 new cases of COVID-19 in Gregg County residents in the previous 48 hours.
The numbers represents a decrease in the rate of new cases from a Tuesday report that Northeast Texas Public Health Department spokesman Terrence Ates called “eye-popping.” On Tuesday, the health district reported 1,864 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Gregg County in a five-day span. Thursday’s report represents two days of data, but it also shows a decrease in new cases.
The report Thursday shows a rate of 8.1 new cases per hour during a 48-hour span. Numbers released Tuesday showed 15.53 new cases per hour through five days.
Overall active cases — including confirmed and probable cases — in the county decreased by 100 from Tuesday to Thursday. On Tuesday, there were 3,171 active cases, according to NET Health. On Thursday, there were 3,070. The decrease likely was due to a spike in the number of residents who have recovered. Total recoveries on Tuesday were 12,984 and increased to 13,456 on Thursday.
While the number of new cases was down in its most recent report, NET Health reports that Gregg County still has the highest seven-day rolling rate of infection in a seven-county region for which the organization provides disease surveillance.
For the previous seven days on Thursday, Gregg County’s seven-day rolling rate of infection was 142.92, down slightly from 148, adjusted for population. Each of the seven counties — Gregg, Smith, Anderson, Henderson, Rains, Van Zandt and Wood — still have “substantial” levels of community spread of the virus.
In Smith County, the seven-day rolling rate rose slightly from Tuesday to Thursday’s 131.4.
NET Health reported 500 new total COVID-19 cases in Smith County. Of the new cases, 200 were confirmed positives.
Overall active cases — including confirmed and probable cases — in Smith County also decreased amid an increase in recoveries. On Tuesday, there were 5,686 active cases, according to NET Health. On Thursday, there were 5,110. Total recoveries on Tuesday were 23,818 and increased to 24,886 on Thursday.
NET Heath reported Thursday there were 383 East Texas patients receiving treatment for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals after the reported peak reached an all-time high of 389 over Labor Day weekend.
In a region including Longview and Tyler, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals set another record with data released Thursday.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 822 COVID-19 patients in Trauma Region G hospitals on Wednesday, the latest day for which data was available. The previous highest single-day number was set Tuesday at 821.
The portion of residents who have been fully vaccinated in East Texas counties continue to lag behind statewide numbers.
In Gregg County, 44.49 percent of people 12 and older had been fully vaccinated as of Thursday, while 75.11 percent of residents 65 and older were fully vaccinated.
In Smith County, 44.21 percent of people 12 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state, and 74.28 percent of residents 65 and older had been fully vaccinated.
Statewide, 58.42 percent of Texans age 12 and up had been vaccinated, and 77.63 percent of residents 65 and older had been vaccinated.