Following a pandemic record high of active COVID-19 cases reported in early September, Montgomery County has reported over a week of decreases in the statistic, though the county’s public health department cautioned that cases remain “at high levels,” according to its Sept. 20 update.
On Sept. 7, Montgomery County set its record high for active cases, with 13,756. As of Sept. 20, that figure has dropped to 11,303.
Hospital bed and ICU bed usage have also decreased, although they remain at high levels. According to the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council’s dashboard, 157 out of 174 operational ICU beds were in use as of Sept. 20.
The hospital capacity issue was acknowledged at Montgomery County’s most recent commissioner’s court meeting, where Jason Millsaps, the director of the county Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, noted that it would take time for ICU and hospital bed trends to match the decrease in active cases.
"The ICU patients spend an enormous amount of time when they get there, but the general beds are coming down from the high a couple days ago," Millsaps said.
Cases in young children remain high
Montgomery County finished August with a pandemic record high in positive cases for children under 12 with 2,599—more than in all of 2020 combined.
The county has recorded 899 positive COVID-19 cases in September to date for young children, which is already higher than all other monthly totals this year except August, according to the Sept. 20 update.
Dr. Jim Versalovic, the chief pathologist and interim chief pediatrician for Texas Children’s Hospital-The Woodlands, said the trend mirrors what area hospitals have been seeing in young patients.
“No age group has been spared,” Versalovic said. “The vast majority of these children stay out of the hospital, but we are seeing more symptomatic infections during the delta surge.”