The number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County hospitals hit a record high for the third straight day June 17, according to data being tracked by the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The occupancy rate in the county's intensive care units hit a record high that day as well.
A total of 793 suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients were in general ward beds as of June 17, a number that has been increasing every day since June 6 when the count was at 441. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in the ICU has increased from 220 on June 14 to 343 on June 17, according to SETRAC. Another 39 suspected COVID-19 patients are in ICU beds, defined by SETRAC as patients who meet the criteria for COVID-19 but have not yet been tested.
SETRAC data is based on daily reports from area hospitals, and data is only as accurate as those reports, according to a disclaimer on the site
The estimated occupancy rate for ICUs across hospitals in the county rose to 92.9%, a record high since the pandemic began, with 1,508 of the 1,622 operation beds occupied. Federal mandates require hospitals to be able to increase their ICU bed capacity by 20% if necessary, according to SETRAC. However, the Texas Medical Center has an estimated 1,200 additional ICU beds in surge capacity, far exceeding the 20% requirement.
Public health officials in Harris County and the city of Houston confirmed 395 new cases of COVID-19 on June 18, bringing the total case count to 18,552. About 10,698 of those cases are considered active, while 7,549 are confirmed to have recovered.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day hit a new high June 18, with an average of 384 new cases confirmed per day over the past week. After seven deaths were confirmed June 18, the death toll for COVID-19 in Harris County stands at 305.