The county's public health department attributed the July 15 case spike to its shift from reporting case information after the initiation of contact investigations to reporting new cases immediately after receiving positive laboratory reports. The record-high case additions logged July 15 fell to levels more in line with recent daily updates July 16, as the county's cumulative case count rose by 177 to 4,501. Recoveries rose by 84 to reach a total of 2,262 July 16, representing just over half of all confirmed county cases so far.
One new death related to COVID-19 was reported July 16, a Magnolia man in his 60s who died in the hospital, marking the sixth straight day a death related to COVID-19 has been reported in the county. Forty-six deaths related to COVID-19 have now taken place since the first fatalities were recorded in early April.
While the total number of active cases fell by 13 on July 16, hospitalizations of county residents rose by 14 to reach 58, the highest number since 61 hospitalizations were reported in mid-May. Of the 2,088 confirmed active COVID-19 cases in the county, 1,611 remain in self-isolation, and the status of 419 remains unknown—a factor of the county's shift from sharing case information before contact investigations begin.
Previously active cases the county has not been able to contact for more than 30 days will no longer be included in active case tracking, the public health department said. Hospitalizations and recoveries of county residents will also be reported only after contact investigations are complete.
Total COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county, regardless of patients' county of residence, rose by one July 16 to 233. That figure includes 168 people in general or isolation beds and 65 in intensive care unit beds, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council shared by the county health department.