Montgomery County's active COVID-19 case count remained at its lowest level since November through the week of March 15, and several new deaths and recoveries from the disease were reported March 16-19, according to the Montgomery County Public Health District.

The number of active cases countywide fell to 1,981 March 17, a four-month low for the statistic. Active cases were last tracked below 2,000 on Nov. 17 and had remained well above that mark through late 2020 and early 2021 until gradually falling since mid-January. The count ticked up slightly through the end of the week with 2,220 active cases confirmed as of March 19, of which 76 were hospitalized.

Both the county's cumulative COVID-19 case count and the number of recoveries from the disease increased by several hundred this week. Just over 48,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Montgomery County in the year-plus since the first case was identified, of which 24,868—51.74%—have clinically recovered. More than 20,000 cases remain in an unconfirmed status as of March 19, meaning the public health district was unable to contact them within 30 days of initial reporting.

Eight new deaths related to the disease were also reported March 16-19 in the county, including men and women from Conroe, Montgomery and Porter in their 60s, 70s and 80s. A total of 262 resident COVID-19 deaths have now been recorded.

Hospitalizations throughout county facilities fluctuated throughout this week, with general bed usage rising from 708-1,036 on March 15-16 and falling to 866 by March 19, according to information from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients in those beds—regardless of their county of residence—followed the same pattern, rising as high as 117 March 16 before falling through the week.

The total number of ICU beds in use countywide rose to 171 March 17, just below the county's operational capacity limit of 174, before dropping slightly to 162 as of March 19. The number of COVID-19 patients in county ICU beds fell from 35 on March 16 to 25 as of March 19.