Public health officials with Harris County and the city of Houston confirmed 1,453 new cases of COVID-19 June 29 along with five more deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
The total number of cases in the county now stands at 30,729, with 19,955 of those cases considered active and 10,398 confirmed to have recovered. A total of 376 deaths have now been confirmed.
Demand for tests remained strong in Harris County over the seven-day period ending June 28, during which time an average of 5,839 tests were conducted per day. That rate is similar to the demand for tests seen between June 15-21 and up substantially from the roughly 1,819 tests conducted per day in Harris County between June 8-14. The data, collected by the Texas Department of State Health Services, includes both PCR swab tests and antibody tests.
The 7-day trend of test positivity in the eight-county Greater Houston area as of June 27 showed 19% of tests coming back positive, according to the Texas Medical Center.
The number of COVID-19 patients occupying general ward beds in Harris County hospitals increased from 1,360 on June 28 to 1,560 on June 29, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, the highest daily total since the pandemic began and the eighth day in a row that a new high mark has been seen. The number of patients in intensive care unit beds fell from 582 on June 28 to 539 on June 29, but remains substantially higher than it was one week prior when 381 COVID-19 patients were in ICU beds.
Officials with the Texas Medical Center expect the typical 1,330 ICU beds that are available across its member hospitals will all be occupied by July 1, at which point officials will move into Phase 2, which involves unlocking another 373 ICU beds set up to be available for the duration of the pandemic. A third phase—which officials said would not be needed for at least two weeks based on current trends—would involve unlocking another 504 temporary surge ICU beds.