1. Active cases on slight rise
Montgomery County continued to report an increase in active COVID-19 cases last week, following the trend seen in the week of Sept. 9-14. From Sept. 15-21, the county's active case count rose from 1,418 to 1,669, according to daily counts from the Montgomery County Public Health District. Total cases increased from 10,182 to 10,666. The number of county residents hospitalized due to COVID-19 increased from 18 to 25, although this is a decrease from July and August, when the numbers reached the 50s and 60s.
2. County chips away at backlog
The county has also made progress on its case backlog, which was first announced Aug. 14; it was the result of delayed inclusion of cases after health care providers first reported cases to the Texas Department of State Health Services. This followed a reporting change July 15, when county officials announced a change in reporting methods after a backlog caused the daily case count report to surge by more than 800 in one day.
Since the Aug. 14 announcement, the county's daily case count totals have included cases that were reported in July, August and, in some cases, prior to July. However, all cases in the Sept. 21 case count were reported in September, according to the Montgomery County Public Health District.
3. Public health district announces reporting changes
Beginning Sept. 18, MCPHD also began reporting positive antigen results in its total and active case counts.
4. ICE centers tally cases
Of the county's total cases, as of Sept. 18, 50 have reportedly come from the Joe Corley Detention Center and 207 from the Montgomery County Processing Center, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. None of these cases are currently under isolation or being monitored, although one death was reported at Joe Corley, according to ICE. Community Impact Newspaper has filed open records requests with ICE for daily COVID-19 case counts in these two centers but has not received a response.
5. School districts begin reporting cases
On Sept. 23, the Texas Education Agency will make publicly available COVID-19 data searchable by school district. However, several school districts in Montgomery County have already begun sharing this information on their websites. Conroe ISD, for example, has reported 249 cases since May, with 549 students isolated or quarantined and 94 employees isolated or quarantined as of Sept. 21.