New COVID-19 cases, deaths climb in Montgomery County through August as active cases fall nearly 50%

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County dropped off in August following a peak in July, while new deaths related to the disease were recorded at a higher rate over the course of the month.

Overall, 2,540 new COVID-19 cases were added to Montgomery County's cumulative case count in August, according to information from the county public health district. The case increase from the 6,196 reported as of July 31 to the 8,736 total reported Aug. 31 represents a 40.99% rise over the course of the month.

However, the number of new cases identified throughout August was bolstered by some cases that had initially tested positive in a prior month. According to the health district, many local cases had been first reported by health care providers to the Texas Department of State Health Services and entered into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Electronic Disease Surveillance System before being logged in Montgomery County's cumulative count in recent weeks.

The total number of such new cases first identified in August alone could not be assessed based on information from the health district, and the 2,540 new cases from last month may include some previously reported cases from earlier this year.

New cases added daily throughout the county were recorded at a higher rate in August than they were in the preceding months of the pandemic—although some August days saw heightened counts due to the addition of previously confirmed case information from the national CDC database.

As those new cases were identified, the proportion of active cases out of the county's cumulative total was more than halved from the end of July to the end of August. That figure remained at around 40% through the start of the summer, while the 1,398 active cases as of Aug. 31 represented only 16% of the county's case total. Inactive cases include clinical recoveries, deaths, and those with an unconfirmed status following a contact investigation or that the health district had not been able to make contact in more than 30 days.

Alongside the slide in local active cases, clinical recoveries from COVID-19 throughout the county grew by nearly two-thirds over the course of last month. A total of 2,380 new recoveries were confirmed in August, representing around 42% of the 5,993 total recoveries recorded countywide through Aug. 31. By the end of last month, nearly 69% of identified cases in the county had clinically recovered.

Deaths related to COVID-19 were recorded at a faster rate in Montgomery County through August than in previous months, with the average number of coronavirus-related deaths confirmed per day rising 176% between the period of April 1—when the first deaths from COVID-19 were reported in the county—through July 31 and the period of Aug. 1-31. A total of 47 resident deaths related to COVID-19 were reported last month out of the 114 confirmed as of Aug. 31, with new fatalities added on all but four days when the health district provided case updates.

As of July 31, 1.08% of the 6,196 confirmed countywide cases had died in relation to the disease. That figure increased by one-fifth through August even as thousands of new cases were added, and by Aug. 31 1.3% of the 8,736 local cases identified had died.

Below are daily figures for active and recovered cases as well as daily new cases and deaths reported in Montgomery County through the month of August.

By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2019 as a reporter for The Woodlands area and began working as Austin's City Hall reporter in April 2021.