Williamson County added more than 7,300 confirmed coronavirus cases in December, its highest monthly increase since the start of the pandemic in March, according to Williamson County and Cities Health District data.

Between Dec. 1-31, the county confirmed 7,351 additional coronavirus cases, jumping from 13,637 to 20,988—a 53.9% increase—over the course of the month.

In the
month prior, Williamson County added 3,400 new cases, data shows.

The number of deaths increased by 24.54% in December from 163 to 203, per the data.

Counted deaths are of those who have COVID-19 listed as a direct cause of death on the death certificate. A medical certifier, usually a doctor, determines the causes of death. The Texas Department of State Health Services does not include deaths of people who had COVID-19 but died of an unrelated cause, according to the DSHS dashboard.

The number of hospitalizations also grew drastically in December, increasing by 120.75%, and the county’s positivity rate nearly doubled from at the end of November to Dec. 31—from 9% to 17.28%—data shows.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Williamson County have now reached an all-time high and will continue to rise, according to the Williamson County and Cities Health District.

“There is immediate need to take personal action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 before hospitals exceed capacity,” it said.

Local health experts attribute the increase in cases to Thanksgiving and social gatherings. Due to this, it asks that those who have traveled get tested three to five days thereafter and stay home for seven days after the gathering.

Here is a breakdown of COVID-19 in Williamson County in September as well as over the course of the pandemic so far. The WCCHD does not release COVID-19 data on the weekends. Click the black arrow to see cases and hospitalizations over the course of the pandemic.