Another 1,343 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County on July 15 along with 18 deaths caused by the coronavirus, public health officials reported.
Harris County has now confirmed more than 50,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and more than 33,000 of those cases are still considered active. The number of confirmed deaths was a single-day high for the county. Sixteen of those deaths were confirmed in the city of Houston, where officials said two of the dead—a male in his 70s and a female in her 50s—had no known underlying health conditions.
The 16 confirmed deaths in the city of Houston included cases dating back into June and two cases dating back as far as May. Public health officials in Harris County have previously said long turnaround times and other testing challenges can cause a lag in when results are reported to the county.
The total number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County hospitals hit 2,783 on July 15, a new high for the county, according to data being tracked by the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Between July 8 and July 15, the number of COVID-19 patients in general ward beds increased from 1,908 to 2,034, while the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds increased from 708 to 749.
In the Texas Medical Center, base ICU capacity remained fully occupied on July 15, while surge capacity was at 8% occupied, with 29 of 373 beds occupied. Based on current trends, those 373 beds in surge capacity are not in danger of being fully occupied within the next two weeks, according to TMC projections.