In a Nov. 18 letter to the Fort Bend County community, leaders from four local hospital systems raised concerns over the increasing number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization.
“This is especially troubling considering that the holiday season is approaching, and local residents will be reuniting with friends and family,” reads the letter, which is signed by Chris Siebenaler, regional senior vice president and CEO of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital; Malisha Patel, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital; Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center; and Steven Foster, south Houston market president of St. Luke’s Health System.
Data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council shows hospitalizations have continued to rise with between 79 and 95 coronavirus patients receiving care at Fort Bend County hospitals Nov. 13-19. This range is higher than the 58-82 people hospitalized with the virus the week prior.
Furthermore, the 95 patients hospitalized Nov. 13 is the highest number of coronavirus hospitalizations observed since Aug. 18.
Between 11 and 26 of those hospitalized were receiving care in a Fort Bend County intensive care unit, according to SETRAC data. The last date more than 26 coronavirus-positive patients were in Fort Bend County ICUs was also Aug. 18.
The chart below shows coronavirus hospitalization data—including general bed and ICU bed usage—since March.
New local cases Nov. 13-19
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services reported 685 new cases of the coronavirus Nov. 13-19, a 135% increase in the number of new cases compared to the week prior.
The following graph shows the number of new cases reported each day Nov. 13-19. Note no new case information is reported on Sundays.
The 210 new cases reported Nov. 13 is the largest single-day case increase since Aug. 24.
The county’s seven-day rolling case average has also increased from 41.57 Nov. 12 to 97.86 Nov. 19, the highest it has been since Aug. 30.
In their letter, hospital leaders state that the positivity rate for coronavirus tests performed at local testing and hospitals over the past month has increased to 10%, up from 3%-4%.
The following graph tracks the history of the coronavirus pandemic in Fort Bend County and shows daily new case totals and seven-day averages.
As of Nov. 19, 19,095 Fort Bend County residents have tested positive for the virus using molecular tests, according to FBCHHS.
The county’s death toll—now at 276—increased by 11 the week of Nov. 13-19.
Data included in this story reflects what Fort Bend County and the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council are reporting as of 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20.