A total of 1,465 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County on July 28, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 67,660.
After starting the month at 32,859 confirmed cases, the case count in Harris County has more than doubled over the course of July. Testing also increased in July, with a total of 187,890 tests conducted in Harris County so far this month, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. By comparison, 138,470 were conducted in June. A total of 495,954 tests have been conducted in the county since the start of the pandemic, according to DSHS.
At a July 28 Harris County Commissioners Court meeting, Judge Lina Hidalgo identified issues with reading too much into the positivity rate, saying that it is influenced by the type of people choosing to get testing. When testing demand is high, people who are positive are more likely to be getting tested, and when demand is low, positive cases are being missed, she said.
"You have to take it with a grain of salt regardless of whichever way it is," she said. "It’s hard because you can’t force someone to get a test."
Hidalgo said the county is looking into ways to get a more random sample from the community, which she said would provide a more valid number. More details could be presented at a future court meeting in August.
Of the 67,660 cases, 44,749 are considered active, 22,240 have recovered and 670 have died. Of the 16 deaths confirmed in Harris County on July 28, two were in their 30s, according to county data.
The total number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County intensive care units stayed flat July 28; it has remained in the 600s for the past week after spending mid-July in the 700s. The COVID-19 patient count in general ward beds increased for the second day in a row, climbing to 1,551 on July 28, up from 1,435 on July 26 and down from 1,768 on July 21.
Within Texas Medical Center hospitals, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to fall, hitting an average of 250 per day as of July 27 after staying above 300 through early July. Base ICUs in the medical center remained completely full as of July 28, with about 12% of surge capacity beds occupied.