Harris County coronavirus count: After three weeks of surging cases, death toll starts to rise

The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12. (Community Impact Staff)
The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12. (Community Impact Staff)

The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12. (Community Impact Staff)

A total of 3,368 COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths were confirmed in Harris County over the July 11-12 weekend, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department.

The 19 deaths—which included 16 reported on July 11 and three reported July 12—followed another 16 deaths reported July 10 and 12 deaths reported July 9. The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12.

The increase follows roughly three weeks after a surge in COVID-19 cases first started being reported in the county, which was marked by the seven-day average of daily cases increasing from 384 per day on June 18 to over 1,200 per day on June 25. Public health experts have previously warned death tolls could rise several weeks to one month after increases in new cases and hospitalizations. As of July 12, the seven-day average in Harris County remained at 1,253 new cases per day.

Deaths in the city of Houston, included three individuals in their 50s, eight individuals in their 60s, four individuals in their 70s and four individuals in their 80s. Demographic data was not released for individuals who died in Harris County outside of the city. Of the 45,368 confirmed cases in Harris County, 458 are confirmed to have died, while another 14,158 are confirmed to have recovered and 30,752 cases are considered active.

Across the state, the death count has topped 3,000 as the Texas Tribunereports some counties are looking to expand their hospital and county morgue capacities.

The testing positivity rate remains at around 11% in the nine-county Greater Houston area, according to the most recent data being tracked by the Texas Medical Center. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said any rate above 10% is cause for alarm.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals held steady over the weekend after several weeks of increases. A total of 1,930 COVID-19 patients were in general ward beds as of July 12, down slightly from 2,009 on July 10, but up from the 1,787 recorded one week prior on July 5. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds was at 760 on July 12, down from 766 on July 10 but up from 675 on July 5.

Base ICU capacity remained completely full in the medical center, and about 10% of the ICU surge capacity—or 38 of 373 beds—was occupied as of July 12. Based on current trends, TMC officials do not expect those 373 beds to be fully occupied for at least another two weeks.

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.


A house in the Balmoral development in Kingwood.
2,300 homes slated along FM 2920 in Hockley

Land Tejas will construct 2,300 new homes in a 646-acre development in Hockley.

The pizza and pasta eatery is opening this fall. (Courtesy Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen)
Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen coming soon to Bridgeland

The eatery specializes in New York-style pizza, but calzones, pasta, deli sandwiches, salads and soups are also on the menu.

Harris County Pets facilitates pet adoptions, foster placements and more. (Courtesy Harris County Pets)
Harris County Pets temporarily waives adoption fees to control increase of population

Harris County Pets has exceeded its capacity to house its growing pet population, officials said.

Masterpiece Desserts is opening in late June with plans for a grand opening in late July. (Courtesy Masterpiece Desserts)
Masterpiece Desserts to open Cy-Fair storefront this month

This is the first brick-and-mortar location for the business, which specializes in miniature cheesecakes.

Americans spent 44% more shopping on websites, including Amazon, in 2020 than in 2019. (Courtesy Amazon)
Surge in online shopping strains Houston’s distribution channels

Online spending in the U.S. was up 44% from 2019 to 2020, and transportation expert Bill Eisele said this uptick has put a strain on the region’s transportation system.

According to county officials, 40% of the $125 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Harvey took place within Harris County. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas General Land Office says it is 'not feasible' to request $750M in federal flood aid within 30 days

Houston-area officials ask for 30-day-dealine on the Texas General Land Office's formal request for $750 million in federal flood aid funding, but GLO says it is not possible.

Texas Central has signed a $16 billion contract with Webuild to lead the civil construction team that will build the train. (Rendering courtesy Texas Central)
Texas Central signs $16B construction contract for high-speed rail project

Texas Central could be one step closer to starting construction.

Russ Poppe, the Harris County Flood Control District executive director, will officially step down July 2 after nearly fifteen years in the position. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Executive Director Russ Poppe announces resignation from Harris County Flood Control District

Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director Russ Poppe announced his resignation June 11.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.

League City's Helen Hall Library History Club hosted an event related to Juneteenth on June 7. The holiday honors Union Gen. Gordon Granger coming to Galveston in 1865 to announce the liberation of enslaved people in Texas. (Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Celebrate Juneteenth in Galveston with a movie screening, parade and more on June 17, 19

The Juneteenth Legacy Project, which aims to recontextualize the day and properly communicate its story and relevance, is hosting or advertising numerous events over the course of the holiday weekend.

Missouri City resident Jackie Ward became the chief nursing officer at Texas Children’s Hospital in January. (Photo by Michael Carr Photography, graphic by Chase Brooks/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Jackie Ward, Texas Children's Hospital chief nursing officer, discusses career, nursing during COVID-19

Prior to becoming chief nursing officer, Missouri City resident Jackie Ward worked as an oncology nurse and in a variety of leadership roles at Texas Children's Hospital.