The number of new cases confirmed over the week of Oct. 18-24 was 4,424, which was up from the previous two weeks, both of which saw about 3,300 new cases each.
The testing positivity rate has also started to rise in Harris County after falling to its lowest point in early October since the data started being tracked. The 14-day average for testing positivity hit 7.2% as of the most recent data Oct. 17, according to the Harris County Public Health Department. That number was up from a low point of 5.6% on Oct. 4 and in line with rates from around mid-September.
Public health officials in Harris County have previously said they want to see the positivity rate stay below 5% to demonstrate community control of the virus. The 14-day average hit a high point of more than 20% in early July in Harris County and had been trending downward until the uptick began in early October. Meanwhile, the testing positivity rate remains below 5% among Texas Medical Center hospitals, where officials are tracking their own data.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County hospitals has largely remained flat in the month of October and far lower than where it was this summer. The total number of COVID-19 patients in general wards was at 382 as of Oct. 25, up from 350 patients one week ago on Oct. 18, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The number of patients in intensive care units was at 180 on Oct. 25, up from 165 on Oct. 18. About 12.1% of ICU beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients on Oct. 25, according to SETRAC.
The total number of active coronavirus cases in Harris County is now at 24,723, up from 22,248 one week ago. The number of recovered cases rose to 131,837 while the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus hit 2,190, with 59 deaths confirmed over the past week.