Testing positivity rate continues to rise in Harris County; hospitalizations still low

Another 1,194 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County over the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 weekend along with 20 deaths caused by the virus, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)
Another 1,194 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County over the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 weekend along with 20 deaths caused by the virus, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)

Another 1,194 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County over the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 weekend along with 20 deaths caused by the virus, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)

Another 1,194 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County over the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 weekend along with 20 deaths caused by the virus, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department.

Of the new cases, 811 were confirmed within the city of Houston while 383 were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city. The number of new cases confirmed over the week ending Oct. 31 came in at 3,927, slightly lower than the previous week's total of 4,424.

Meanwhile, the testing positivity rate continues to slowly rise in the county, a trend that has been ongoing since early October, according to Harris County data. The 14-day average for testing positivity hit 8% for the most recent data available Oct. 24, up from 7.2% one week prior on Oct. 17 and a low point of 5.6% Oct. 4. The spread of the virus is increasing in the Greater Houston area, according to the Texas Medical Center, which is tracking the effective reproduction rate, a measure of how many people are infected by each person who contracts the virus.


COVID-19 hospitalizations remain low in the county, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, which has found the number of patients in both general wards and intensive care units to have stayed relatively flat over the past month. The number of COVID-19 patients in general wards was at 380 as of Nov. 1, down slightly from 382 on Oct. 25. For ICUs, the count was at 183 on Nov. 1, up from 180 on Oct. 25.


About 12% of occupied ICU beds were holding COVID-19 patients as of Nov. 1, according to SETRAC. ICU beds in the Texas Medical Center are about 89% occupied with additional beds available on top of that in surge capacity. TMC officials reported 106 new COVID-19 admissions Oct. 29. TMC hospitals were admitting about 78 COVID-19 patients per day one month ago.

The case count in Harris County now stands at 162,807, with 26,778 active cases, 133,767 recovered cases and 2,252 deaths.




By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.