Harris County coronavirus count: Major indicators remain stalled for another week
Harris County remains at the severe threat level on its coronavirus threat meter as major indicators of viral spread—including the testing positivity rate and occupancy in intensive care units—have stalled above thresholds that would prompt the county to lower the threat level. (Community Impact staff)
The 14-day average for COVID-19 testing positivity clocked in at 8.8% as of the most recent data from April 7. The average—which would need to fall below 5% to meet the threshold set by public health officials—has been hovering between 8.3% and 8.8% since March 12, according to county data.
The number of patients with COVID-19 in Harris County hospitals rose slightly in general wards and ICUs between April 7 and 14, according to records from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.
Regarding ICUs, county officials said they are looking for less than 15% of the total patient population to test positive for COVID-19 before lowering the threat level. The current trend line has stalled just above that threshold. As of April 14, 260 of the 1,520 total ICU patients in county hospitals had COVID-19, or 17.1% of patients, up slightly from one week ago.
The seven-day average for daily new cases has continued to decline in Harris County. The average was around 479 new cases as of April 14, down from around 540 as of April 7. County officials are looking to keep that average below 400 before lowering the threat level.
Officials with the Texas Medical Center have also shown a consistent slowing down of the effective reproduction rate, which measures viral spread based on the average number of new people infected by each infected person.
Meanwhile, total active cases in the county have fallen below 10,000 for the first time since June, according to county data. In total, 9,843 active cases were noted as of April 14.
Of the 384,007 cases detected by the county since the start of the pandemic, 370,248 have recovered and 3,897 have died, according to county data. The COVID-19 death toll has risen by 142 over the past week.