Those numbers are up from 483 patients in general wards and 212 in ICUs one week ago, and up from 380 in general wards and 183 in ICUs at the start of the month, according to SETRAC. The percentage of people with COVID-19 in the county's ICUs has risen above 15%. In the Texas Medical Center, ICU beds are about 93% occupied.
Meanwhile, the effective reproduction rate of the coronavirus—a metric tracked by the Texas Medical Center that shows how fast the virus is spreading—was at 1.1 as of Nov. 17, up slightly from the previous week. Any number above 1 means the virus spread is increasing, and TMC officials said the rate needs to stay below 1 for 15 consecutive days to demonstrate community control of the virus.
A total of 1,345 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County on Nov. 19, the second day in a row that more than 1,000 cases were confirmed. A total of 1,158 of those cases were confirmed in the city of Houston while 187 were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city.
The seven day average for new cases confirmed per day in Harris County hit 986.86 on Nov. 19, up from the high 500s at the start of the month. The 14-day average for testing positivity also continued to rise in Harris County, hitting 8.5% as of the most recent data Nov. 12.
In response to the worsening trends, Harris County officials are urging residents to cancel gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday and limit any gatherings to people who already live together in the same household. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommended against traveling for Thanksgiving in a Nov. 19 advisory.
The total number of cases in Harris County now stands at 178,811, with 15,452 active cases, 160,967 recovered cases and 2,380 deaths.