The average number of new COVID-19 cases to be confirmed in Harris County has sharply decreased over the past week, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department.

The seven-day average for daily new cases fell to around 965 on Feb. 10, down from more than 2,400 on Feb. 3. Prior to Feb. 10, the seven-day average had been above 1,000 since early December.

A total of 680 new cases were confirmed in Harris County Feb. 10. The number of active cases fell to 37,418, down from 45,130 one week ago on Feb. 3. The active case count is now the lowest it has been since early January. A total of 330,256 cases have been confirmed since the pandemic began.

The Texas Medical Center, which is tracking daily new cases in the nine-county Greater Houston area, recorded 1,526 cases as of the most recent data Feb. 9, down from 2,520 one week ago. However, the trends are still substantially higher than the target set by the TMC for demonstrating community control of the virus, which would require having fewer than 200 new cases per day for 14 consecutive days.

Meanwhile, the effective reproduction rate has been below 1 in Harris County for seven straight days, indicating the viral spread is slowing, according to the TMC.

Confirmed new deaths per day, which tend to lag behind cases and hospitalizations, have continued to increase with 102 COVID-19 deaths confirmed in Harris County over the past week. The COVID-19 death toll now stands at 3,096 in the county and more than 40,000 in the state.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Harris County and the average testing positivity rate both continued to trend downward. As of Feb. 10, 1,288 patients in general wards had COVID-19, and 468 patients in intensive care units had COVID-19, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Those numbers compare to 1,531 COVID-19 patients in general wards and 510 in ICUs on Feb. 3.

The most recent data for testing positivity as of Feb. 3 put the 14-day average at 16%, down from 16.9% from the prior week. The 14-day average has been slowly falling since hitting 20% on Jan. 7, and county health officials have set a target of consistently holding the rate under 5%.