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.