Another 955 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Harris County on Aug. 20, including 501 cases in the city of Houston and 454 in Harris County outside of the city.
The seven-day average for new cases confirmed per day in the county has been in the low 900s and high 800s throughout the week after a steep drop brought it down from the 1,600s earlier in August. At the same time, reports from the city of Houston and the Texas Medical Center show the testing positivity rate slowly decreasing.
In the TMC hospital system, the testing positivity rate was at 7.8% as of Aug. 19, down from about 8.7% one week earlier. A separate TMC chart based on state data looking at the nine-county Greater Houston area shows the positivity rate at around 7% as well.
The city of Houston announced it had received a backlog of testing data from the state that affected historical testing positivity statistics. The overall positivity rate since the start of July was revised to be higher than previously thought. However, the rate has still been dropping, including a drop from 22.4% on Aug. 7 to 15.9% on Aug. 14.
Like other health departments, we recently received a backlog of #COVID19 data, impacting our historical positivity rate. The trend is still going down but we must continue to #WashHands, #WearAMask, #SocialDistance and #GetTested to keep it that way. #BetterTogether #hounews pic.twitter.com/PD2pwXH7TV
— Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) August 19, 2020
The COVID-19 death toll rose to 1,122 on Aug. 20, an increase of 27 from the previous day as COVID-19 continued to be confirmed as the cause of deaths that took place in the county in July and earlier and August.
COVID-19 hospitalizations remained flat in Harris County on Aug. 20 and are on an overall downward trend. Base intensive care unit capacity in TMC hospitals was about 97% full as of Aug. 19, and COVID-19 patients made up about 27% of overall ICU occupants.