Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Hospitalizations up 5% over 3-week span as hospitals’ positivity rate approaches 4%; ICU bed usage drops

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

There were 502 COVID-19 patients checked in at Texas Medical Center hospitals as of Oct. 18, according to the medical district’s data dashboard.

That number is up since three weeks ago, when the medical center reported 478 patients Sept. 23. Still, that number of hospitalizations is down compared to what it was at the start of September, when COVID-19 patient numbers were at 685.

Data collected by the TMC may show the spread of the virus has slightly grown in the last few weeks, as out of about 2,894 COVID-19 tests performed Oct. 17, 3.9% of those tested positive. This compares to a 3.5% positivity rate reported Sept. 22 and a 23% positivity rate reported during the pandemic’s peak July 9.

Data collected by the TMC spans hospitals in nine counties in Greater Houston, including Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller.

Meanwhile, the total number of intensive care unit beds in use has dropped from 1,200 to 1,115 since Sept. 23, while the number of COVID-19 patients hooked to those units has continued to decline during the same period, from 163 to 147 reported Oct. 18.

There were 81 new COVID-19 patients admitted to TMC facilities Oct. 18, and 80 were reported a few weeks ago Sept. 23. It should be noted, however, that the TMC has reported a 3.2% increase in daily COVID-19 admissions over the last seven days, according to the dashboard data.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.