However, data from the Harris County Public Health Department that distinguishes between older cases and more recent cases—one where specimen collection took place within the past 14 days—shows the county has not exceeded 500 cases in a day since Sept. 13, when 509 were reported.
Meanwhile, officials with the Texas Medical Center reported a decrease in the number of new cases per day in the nine-county Greater Houston area. The case total came in at 357 on Sept. 23, down from 838 one week prior. The daily case total has hovered below 500 for the past few days after averaging 838 per day between Sept. 14-20, according to TMC data.
At the same time, the effective reproduction rate, which tracks how many new people are infected by each person who contracts the coronavirus, has stayed below 1 in Harris County for 14 consecutive days as of Sept. 23, meeting one of the three key goals set by TMC officials to slow community spread of the virus.
With the positivity rate under 5% for more than two weeks, the third remaining goal involves keeping the daily new case count below 200 for two weeks.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County hospitals continues to slowly fall, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The number of patients in general wards was at 374 as of Sept. 24, down from 388 one week prior, Sept. 17. The number patients in intensive care units was at 164 on Sept. 24, down from 171 on Sept. 17.
Active cases in the county stood at 17,859 on Sept. 24, up from 16,091 on Sept. 17. Recoveries total 120,057, while the death toll stands at 1,761.