The confirmed number of COVID-19 recoveries in Harris County jumped over the Aug. 1 weekend as the city of Houston began using a new definition of recoveries that includes any case where it has been "28 days or more since the case was reported, or released from [the] hospital and [is] not deceased."
The number of recoveries increased from 23,974 on July 31 to 44,698 on Aug. 2, according to county data. At the same time, the number of cases considered active fell from 48,260 to 31,183.
The Harris County Public Health Department, which tracks cases outside of the city of Houston, had already been defining recoveries in that way.
NEW: Effective today, we join @hcphtx and other health depts in using the following criteria for #COVID19 recoveries.
"Recovered cases include presumed recovered cases, defined as 28 days or more since the case was reported, or released from hospital and not deceased." #hounews pic.twitter.com/yEqO1AddW6
— Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) August 2, 2020
A total of 3,708 new cases and 31 deaths were confirmed in Harris County over the Aug. 1-2 weekend. The seven-day rolling average for new cases increased to 1,617, nearing a former high point.
The seven-day testing positivity rate for the nine-county Greater Houston area was up to 21% on July 21 according to the most recent data being compiled by the Texas Medical Center. The rate has been increasing since July 25 when it was around 15%.
COVID-19 hospitalizations fell over the weekend, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Cases in general wards fell to 1,199 on Aug. 2, down from 1,251 on July 31. Cases in intensive care units fell to 592 on Aug. 2, down from 631 on July 31.
Base occupancy in Texas Medical Center ICUs remained completely full as of Aug. 2, but surge occupancy fell to 6%.