NET Health reports over 380 new COVID-19 cases in Smith County, over 200 in Gregg County

Nurses administer COVID-19 rapid tests to Longview ISD employees in October 2020 at the administration building.

Gregg County’s drop from “substantial” community spread levels of COVID-19 to “moderate” was short-lived. Thursday’s report from the Northeast Texas Public Health District revealed community spread has increased, returning the county to the highest level tracked.

Thursday’s report showed Gregg County with a community spread level of 38.61, about 10% higher than Monday’s report. Despite the increase, community spread remains more than 70% lower than early September, when it reached 142.92.

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

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.

Thursday’s report showed the spread level in Henderson and Anderson counties continues to decrease. Anderson County’s community spread levels decreased by 27% on Thursday, and Henderson also decreased by 22%.

Overall, 156 total new COVID-19 cases were reported in Gregg County on Thursday. NET Health’s twice-weekly report showed 43 new confirmed cases along with 113 probable cases. Total active cases within the county are at 2,756.

According to NET Health, there were 202 East Texans being treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals Thursday, which is about 48% lower than the high of 389, which was set earlier this month just after Labor Day weekend.

One Smith County Jail inmate Thursday had an active diagnosis of COVID-19, according to NET Health. One inmate has died due to COVID-19.

Data gathered in Thursday’s report represents the past 48 hours, from noon Monday to noon Thursday.

On Thursday, there were 447 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G, about 65 fewer than Monday. Of COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 163 of those are in ICUs and 161 patients are on ventilators. In early September, 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, 56.81% of people 12 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 49.38% of residents 12 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

State data shows 87.97% of Texas residents 65 and older had been vaccinated with at least one dose as of Thursday, while 79.52% in that age group had been fully vaccinated.

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