A total of 1,249 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths were confirmed in Harris County July 2, leading into the holiday weekend.
The county has now confirmed 34,108 cases, 22,371 of which were considered active, 11,350 of which are confirmed to have recovered and 387 of which have died.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Harris County hospitals hit new high marks in both general wards and intensive care units July 2, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Over the past week, total COVID-19 patients in general beds have increased from 1,248 to 1,639, while ICU patients have increased from 495 to 594, according to SETRAC.
Officials with the Texas Medical Center have expressed confidence in being able to handle increases in ICU occupancy. The center reached 100% of its typical ICU capacity July 1 and are now using surge capacity. Information posted to the TMC website said the center can "add extensive capacity where needed" through methods such as adding staff, equipment and beds, increasing densification and moderating the intake of nonCOVID-19 patients.
According to SETRAC, about 38% of Harris County ICU patients were COVID-19 patients as of July 2.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order July 2 requiring all Texans to begin wearing face coverings in public, citing rising test positivity rates. The city of Houston reported the 14-day moving average for testing positivity was at 24.8% as of June 28, up from 19.6% on June 14 and 15.4% on June 1.
STEADY INCREASE │The percentage of Houstonians testing positive for #COVID19 continues to climb.
Together, we can reverse the trend by wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and getting tested. https://t.co/56lmp1SQBo#hounews #StopTheSpread #ProtectTheH pic.twitter.com/bbv7nEDbLf
— Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) July 2, 2020
The death rate among confirmed cases in Harris County is around 1.1%. However, health care officials have warned that a surge in hospitalizations could be followed by an increase in death totals several weeks down the line.