Harris County has confirmed an average of 1,300 new COVID-19 cases each day for the past seven days, according to public health data, but various gauges of the testing positivity rate in the Houston area show that a smaller percentage of people being tested have been testing positive.
The seven-day trend of testing positivity in the nine-county Greater Houston area was down to 15% as of July 25, as compared to a peak of 25% of July 19, according to the Texas Medical Center. Another metric looking strictly at TMC hospitals show the seven-day trend at 17% as of July 25, down from a high of 23% of July 9.
The positivity rate was higher in the city of Houston, which marked it at 23.3% as of July 24, down slightly from a high of 25.9% as of July 5.
However, Houston Health Department officials said the positivity rate remains "unacceptably high."
#Houston's #COVID19 positivity rate remains unacceptably high, indicating disease continues to spread uncontrollably in our city. We must #MaskUp, #SocialDistance, #WashHands and #StayHome when possible to #StopTheSpread.#hounews #BetterTogether #ProtectTheH pic.twitter.com/uup6FZanRf
— Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) July 27, 2020
In past discussions on reopening the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has given 10% as the threshold for testing positivity that the state should endeavor to stay below.
A total of 846 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County on July 27, as were 10 deaths caused by the virus. The total number of confirmed cases in the county now stands at 66,195, with 43,833 of those cases considered active, 21707 cases confirmed to have recovered and 654 cases that have resulted in death.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Harris County increased to 2,148 on July 27, up from 2,096 on July 26. However, hospitalizations are down from one week prior, when they came in at 2,613 on July 20, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.
Intensive care unit occupancy remained relatively flat, with 665 COVID-19 patients in Harris County ICUs as of July 27, up from 661 on July 26. Base ICU capacity in the TMC remained completely full as of July 27, with about 21% of surge capacity beds occupied.