A total of 2,214 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County over the July 18-19 weekend, along with nine deaths caused by the virus, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department and Houston Health Department.
Over the week of July 12-18, a total of 10,867 new cases were confirmed in the county, the highest weekly total for new cases since the pandemic began.
As of July 19, 55,769 cases have now been confirmed in Harris County, 36,743 of which are considered active. Another 18,490 cases have recovered while 535 deaths have been confirmed.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County hospitals is down week over week, according to data being tracked by the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. A total of 1,757 suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients were in general ward beds as of July 19, compared to 1,930 on July 12. In intensive care units, 659 COVID-19 patients were counted July 19, compared to 760 on July 12.
The number of patients in ICU beds can be more volatile on a day-to-day basis, having surged to a record high of 841 on July 18 before falling to 659 the next day, the lowest total since July 3.
Base ICU capacity in the Texas Medical Center remained completely occupied as of July 19, which it has been since early July. Surge capacity occupancy was down slightly to 4%, with 15 of 373 beds occupied.
Trend lines tracking daily new hospitalizations and testing positivity have also both been trending downward for the past four days, according to TMC records. However, both metrics remain substantially higher than they were in June and May.
The seven-day average for testing positivity for TMC hospitals sat at just above 20% as of July 16. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has previously said any rate above 10% was cause for alarm.