While the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations continues to increase in Galveston County, fewer new cases and resident deaths are being added to the total.

An additional 22 resident deaths from the coronavirus have been reported in the county in the last 14 days; the 14-day period prior saw 38 reported deaths. Since March 2020, a total of 242 county residents have died from COVID-19, according to Galveston County Health District data.

Of the deaths since Jan. 20, residents’ actual death dates range from Dec. 31-Jan. 27. The residents were all at least 51 years old, and all of them had preexisting medical conditions, per GCHD.

The case fatality rate remains at 0.9%, and 18,498 of the 27,320 total county coronavirus cases are listed as recoveries. More than 2,700 new cases have been reported since Jan. 20, down from the more than 3,200 new cases reported from Jan. 6-20.

GCHD has a monitoring program to assist county residents who test positive for COVID-19 with any questions or concerns. Requests can be sent to [email protected] or be answered by phone at 509-978-4043, including requests for letters of discharge from home isolation.

The number of active cases is up to 8,580, more than 30% of the total. The health district notes on its website that due to the current surge in positive cases in Galveston County and the rollout of vaccines by GCHD, active cases are presumed to be recoveries after 28 days have passed since the first positive test or after a resident is released from the hospital and not deceased or in a nursing home. This definition could lead to an increase in reported active cases.

Galveston and Texas City have seen 4,283 and 4,412 total cases, respectively, and Friendswood has seen 2,022 total cases, according to GCHD data. More than a quarter of the total cases—8,367, or about 31%—have been in League City, and about a third of the currently active cases are in League City.

Nearly 4,900 total cases have been reported among residents ages 21-30, the most of any age group. More than 1,375 of those cases are considered active as of Feb. 3. Residents ages 21-50 with COVID-19 account for about half of the currently active cases.

No county residents under age 31 have died from COVID-19. Nearly 7,000 residents age 30 and under have recovered from the coronavirus since March 2020, per GCHD data.

There are 174 county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Feb. 3, up from 119 as of Jan. 20. The hospitalizations are mainly concentrated in Galveston and League City. While 10 of those are residents age 30 and under as of Feb. 3, cases among residents age 61 and older make up nearly 60% of current hospitalizations. A total of 606 county residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 since March 2020.

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows that as of Feb. 3, Galveston, Harris and Brazoria counties are part of Trauma Service Areas in which the number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 has exceeded 15% of all hospital capacity for seven consecutive days.

In accordance with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order GA-32, these counties are required to keep bars closed, keep restaurants reduced to 50% capacity and cancel all elective surgeries until there have been seven consecutive days below the state’s 15% threshold. The restrictions were first enacted in Galveston County just before Christmas.