Another 1,444 cases of COVID-19 and 15 deaths caused by the virus were confirmed on July 22 in Harris County, according to public health data.
The total number of confirmed deaths in the county has now increased by more than 100 over the past eight days, from 473 on July 14 to 575 on July 22. The county's data only includes confirmed deaths and does not include suspected deaths.
Although 102 deaths were all confirmed to be caused by COVID-19 over the last eight days, a number of deaths took place in June and May and are only just now being reported due to lags in the confirmation process.
The deaths confirmed on July 22 included one individual in their 20s, according to Harris County Public Health data. Of the 575 total deaths confirmed in the county, about 79% of them have been individuals age 60 or older.
Meanwhile, the number of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Harris County has continued a very gradual downward trend that has been ongoing since around July 9, according to data being tracked by the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The number of COVID-19 patients in general ward beds was at 1,684 on July 22, down from 2,034 one week prior on July 15. In intensive care units, the number of COVID-19 patients clocked in at 613 on July 22, down from 749 on July 15.
Although trending downward, both metrics remain substantially higher than where they were in mid-June, prior to a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations. The base ICU capacity in Texas Medical Center ICUs remains completely full, with surge capacity at around 15% full. Statewide, COVID-19 hospitalizations hit 10,893 on July 22, the highest total yet, according to an analysis by the Texas Tribune.
A total of 59,924 cases have been confirmed in Harris County as of July 22, including 39,674 cases that are considered active and 19,674 cases that have recovered. The testing positivity rate in the nine-county Greater Houston area held steady at 22% as of the most recent data on July 20.