Fort Bend County Health & Human Services reported 4,347 new coronavirus cases Dec. 4-10, meaning more than 16% of the county's total cases were recorded during this one week alone.
During this time frame, the county saw its three highest single-day case count increases with 1,285 cases Dec. 4, 983 cases Dec. 5 and 1,074 cases Dec. 9. Previously, the county had never reported more than 900 new cases in a day.
The following graph shows the number of cases reported each day Dec. 4-10. There are no new cases reported on Sundays. Furthermore, FBCHHS specified on its Facebook page that of the cases reported Dec. 9, 434 were from November, while 634 were from December.
On Dec. 9, Fort Bend County upgraded its coronavirus threat level from moderate-significant community risk to high community risk. At that time, Dr. Jaquelyn Minter, the FBCHHS director and local health authority, said there was “widespread” and “uncontrolled” transmission of the virus in the community.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 26,451 Fort Bend County residents have tested positive for the virus using molecular tests. An additional 1,125 have tested positive with antibody tests and 3,010 with antigen tests. However, Fort Bend County only includes molecular test results in its total number of confirmed cases.
Of those who have tested positive for the virus, the county estimates that 21,815 have recovered from the virus while 329 are known to have died from it. Twelve Fort Bend County residents were confirmed to have died from COVID-19 on Dec. 4-10.
With the record number of new cases reported this week, Fort Bend County’s seven-day rolling average—a metric that indicates the average number of cases reported in each of the previous seven days and is used to account for daily fluctuations in data—rose from 303.71 on Dec. 3 to 621 on Dec. 10. This number has increased rapidly over the last three weeks and was fewer than 100 on Nov. 22.
The following graph shows the history of the coronavirus pandemic in Fort Bend County, charting both daily case counts and seven-day averages.
Despite the reported increase in community spread of the coronavirus, Fort Bend ISD said in a Dec. 9 statement that the district will continue to operate as usual thanks to its strong, effective COVID-19 protocols.
“It is important to note that approximately 70% of homes in our community do not have school-aged children, which is why the 'community spread' data is not necessarily relative to the number of documented positive cases among our students and staff,” Superintendent Charles Dupre said in the message to families. “Our daily data analysis tells us that the risk of viral spread in our schools is minimal and that the greatest risk to our FBISD family members comes from activities outside of school.”
Fort Bend County hospitalization data
The number of patients being treated for confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases in Fort Bend County hospitalizations ranged from 119-134 Dec. 4-10, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.
The last time there were more than 134 local COVID-19 hospitalizations was Aug. 8.
During the same period, between 29-35 of those hospitalized with the coronavirus were receiving care in an intensive care unit, SETRAC data shows.
Fort Bend County ICUs have an operation capacity of 122. Last week, they were treating between 102-117 patients, meaning an average of 90% of ICU beds were in use.
The graph below shows coronavirus hospitalization data—including general and ICU bed usage—since March.
Sugar Land, Missouri City cases
The number of cases within the city of Sugar Land increased by 495 on Dec. 4-10, while the city of Missouri City added 308 cases during this time period.
To date, there have been 2,864 Sugar Land cases, or 24.17 per 1,000 residents, and 2,711 Missouri City cases, or 35.93 per every 1,000 residents.
Furthermore, the five-ZIP code area that makes up the bulk of the Sugar Land and Missouri City communities saw 1,418 new coronavirus cases Dec. 4-10.
Missouri City ZIP code 77459 has the most cases at 2,266, while Missouri City ZIP code 77489 has the highest number of cases per 1,000 residents at 41.26.
The following table shows the total number of cases, the increase in cases in the previous week and the number of cases per 1,000 residents at both the city and ZIP code level. Note city limits and ZIP code boundaries do not coincide.
Data included in this story reflects what Fort Bend County and the SETRAC are reporting as of 11:30 a.m. Dec. 11.