Harris County coronavirus count: 7-day average of new cases drops, but hospitalizations continue to rise

The number of COVID-19 patients in general ward hospitals in Harris County hit a new high mark for the 10th straight day, while intensive care unit occupancy neared its previous high. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
The number of COVID-19 patients in general ward hospitals in Harris County hit a new high mark for the 10th straight day, while intensive care unit occupancy neared its previous high. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The number of COVID-19 patients in general ward hospitals in Harris County hit a new high mark for the 10th straight day, while intensive care unit occupancy neared its previous high. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)


A total of 693 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County June 30, including 280 in the city of Houston and 413 in the rest of the county.

A total of 31,422 cases have now been confirmed in Harris County, including 20,343 that are considered active, 10,701 that are confirmed to have recovered and 378 that are confirmed to have died.

The 7-day average of new cases dropped to about 1,000 per day on June 30, down from a high point of 1,216 per day on June 26, but still substantially higher than where it was in mid-June when it was hovering in the 300s. The 7-day trend of testing positivity is 16%, according to the Texas Medical Center.

The number of COVID-19 patients in general ward hospitals in Harris County increased from 1,560 on June 29 to 1,630 on June 30, a new high mark. Over the same time, intensive care unit patients increased from 539 to 564.

ICU occupancy rates in the Texas Medical Center stayed at around 97% related to operational beds. Those beds are expected to be fully occupied by July 2 based on current trends, 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.


Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo addressed ICU occupancy at a June 30 meeting of the Harris County Commissioners Court. Phase 2 beds are activated through varying methods that could include having more patients per nurse and more beds per room, she said. Phase 3—previously called "unsustainable surge"—would require importing nurses from outside of the county, she said.

"That’s no way to run a society, that you’re doubling up, tripling up rooms, importing staff, taking beds for heart attacks and strokes and turning them into ICU beds," she said. "That’s not the goal. We need to not get there, which is why we really need people to stay home."
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Local restaurants offer special multicourse prix-fixe menus during Houston Restaurant Weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston Restaurant Weeks returns with new takeout, delivery options in 2020

Participating eateries will offer special menus and donate $1 from each meal to the Houston Food Bank.

Harris County commissioners voted unanimously at a July 14 meeting to award a construction contract of $8.8 million to Angel Brothers Enterprises for the construction of twin bridges at Louetta Road over Little Cypress Creek as a part of a larger project extending Louetta Road between Telge Road and Stablewood Farms Drive in Cypress.  (Community Impact staff)
TRANSPORTATION UPDATE: Harris County awards $8.8M construction contract for Louetta Road extension and bridge

Harris County commissioners voted unanimously at a July 14 meeting to award a construction contract of $8.8 million for a bridge project at Louetta Road over Little Cypress Creek.

The way elections are run and voters are registered in Harris County could look different following the 2020 elections, as Harris County Commissioners Court has begun exploring alternatives to the county's current democratic system. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County begins exploring voter registration, election alternatives

The way elections are run and voters are registered in Harris County could look different following the 2020 elections, as Harris County Commissioners Court has begun exploring alternatives to the county's current democratic system.

Oak Ridge High School held graduation for an audience of family members in two ceremonies with social distancing measures in place. (Courtesy Conroe ISD)
Teachers, parents express concern about what 2020-21 could hold for Houston-area schools

As school districts throughout the Greater Houston area begin to release details about what in-person and virtual learning options will look like in the fall, questions remain for local parents and educators.

online
Gov. Abbott: Texas Education Agency to extend online learning option for school districts in 2020-21 school year

Texas school districts may be able to continue online learning for longer than three weeks, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Walmart and Sam's Club leaders announced in a press release July 15 all stores nationwide will require shoppers to wear a face covering beginning July 20. (Courtesy Walmart)
UPDATED: Kroger joins Walmart, Sam's Club in requiring face coverings in all stores

Additionally, all Walmart stores will have a single entrance beginning July 20.

home construction
Metrostudy: ‘We didn’t see the drop off of home starts’ in Houston area during COVID-19

However, whether home starts and new home sales will continue this performance throughout 2020 depends on a few factors such as interest rates and oil prices.

Candidate Mike Siegel declared victory over opponent Pritesh Gandhi during a Zoom call with media July 14. (Screenshot via Zoom)
ELECTION RESULTS: Siegel declares victory, will face Republican incumbent Michael McCaul in November

Candidate Mike Siegel declared victory over opponent Pritesh Gandhi during a Zoom call with media July 14.