The number of active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County continued to reach new highs Dec. 22-29, as the active case count has risen by more than 20% since early last week.
The county saw an increase of 1,342 new active cases after Dec. 21, according to the Montgomery County Public Health District, bringing the local active case count to 7,771 as of Dec. 29. The public health district has reported a new record number of active cases in each of its daily case updates since Nov. 23, when 2,539 COVID-19 cases were active in the county. Case updates are typically released on weekdays only, excluding some holidays, including the district's Christmas closure Dec. 24-28.
The county's cumulative COVID-19 case count increased by 3,112 Dec. 22-29 to surpass 26,000, representing a 13.38% increase since Dec. 21. Of those, the health district said, 983 cases first tested positive after Dec. 10, and 1,864 tested positive after Dec. 17.
Over the same time, 809 new recoveries were reported as the county's cumulative recoveries rose to 13,855—52.52% of all confirmed local cases. One new death related to the disease, a New Caney man in his 60s, was reported over the past week. A total of 187 county resident deaths related o COVID-19 have now been confirmed.
The county's inactive case count, including those the health district was unable to contact after 30 days of being reported, rose to 4,566 Dec. 29.
According to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, general and ICU bed usage in Montgomery County hospitals increased slightly over the same time. General bed usage in the county remains below the operational capacity of 1,275 identified by SETRAC, while ICU bed usage remains closer to the 174-bed operational capacity identified by the medical advisory council.
The county's total general bed usage varied during the week and rose by just under 7% overall Dec. 22-29 from 908 to 971, including a 19.63% increase among only suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. ICU bed usage in the county rose 6.71% Dec. 22-29 from 149 to 159—with a peak of 167 recorded Dec. 27—while ICU bed usage for COVID-19 patients only rose by 27.07%.