The number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County intensive care units fell to 227 on Sept. 7, reaching the lowest total since the end of May, when the count was at 214, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.
COVID-19 patients made up 15% of the total ICU population in the county on Sept. 7, according to SETRAC. The COVID-19 count in general wards also fell over the Labor Day weekend, dropping to 438 on Sept. 7, down from 526 on Sept. 4.
Public health officials in Houston and Harris County urged residents to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing over the holiday weekend. Any affect Labor Day gatherings have on the case count are not likely to be known for at least a week.
Stay focused on masking, social distancing and avoiding crowds so we can avoid a Labor Day uptick in cases. Updates on COVID-19 as #LaborDay weekend approaches: https://t.co/1WyAvNjXHC #COVID19 #LaborDay2020
— Texas Medical Center (@TXMedCenter) September 3, 2020
A total of 1,691 new cases of COVID-19 and 42 deaths caused by the coronavirus were confirmed in Harris County over Sept. 5-6. No update on new cases was provided on Labor Day, Sept. 7. The total case count now stands at 111,525, including 13,723 active cases, 96,347 recovered cases and 1,453 deaths.
The testing positivity rate in Texas Medical Center Hospitals continued to fall over the weekend, hitting 4.5% on Sept. 6 and dipping below the 5% target set by TMC officials. Hospital officials said the testing positivity rate needs to stay below 5% for 14 consecutive days to meet one of three standards for community control of the virus.
The other two standards involve the effective reproduction rate—which measures how many additional people are infected by each newly infected case—and the total new cases per day in the nine-county Greater Houston area. As of Sept. 6, the positivity rate and reproduction rate were both below the threshold for one day, but new cases were at 1,197 per day, well above the goal of 200 per day.