The general ward count hit 817 on Dec. 10, up from 758 on Dec. 3. The number of patients in ICUs was at 352 on Dec. 10, down slightly from 380 on Dec. 3, according to SETRAC.
Throughout the pandemic, increases in the number of patients in general wards have led to later increases in ICUs. In mid-June, the general ward count went from the high 400s to over 1,500 over the course of three weeks. The ICU count rose slowly at first before going from the mid-300s in late June to over 700 in early July.
A total of 1,365 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County on Dec. 10, including 1,060 in the city of Houston and 305 in Harris County outside of the city. The seven-day average for new daily cases in Harris County has hovered between 1,000 and 1,200 over the past two weeks.
The 14-day average for testing positivity in Harris County is nearing 10% for the first time since early September, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department.
The average positivity rate has been slowly rising since hitting a low point of 5.4% in early October. It previously peaked at more than 25% in early July. Health care officials said they want to see the positivity rate below 5% for at least two weeks as an indication that the virus spread is under control.
The effective reproduction rate was at 1.08 in the Greater Houston area as of Dec. 9, according to the Texas Medical Center. Any rate above 1 means the virus spread is increasing.
The total case count in Harris County now stands at 202,861, including 21,091 active cases, 179,244 recovered cases and 2,511 deaths. A total of 58 new COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed over the past week, according to Harris County Public Health.