In an update on public health statistics relevant to The Woodlands residents, township board Chair Gordy Bunch said at the Dec. 2 meeting that COVID-19 patients now occupy more than 15% of hospital beds in Montgomery County, where most of the township is located.

According to information from SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council, as of Dec. 2, 14.1% of general hospital beds are in use by COVID-19 patients in Montgomery County hospitals; 26.5% of ICU beds are in use by COVID-19 patients; and the overall percentage for both general and ICU beds is 15.8%.

"We have been climbing up ... we're following closely the trend from late June-early July," Bunch said.

According to Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-32, if the number of COVID-19 patients is greater than 15% of hospital beds in a trauma service area for seven consecutive days, businesses must reduce capacity to 50%. The trauma service area in which Montgomery County is located, which also includes Harris County, has not yet exceeded the 15% threshold, according to information from SETRAC.

Meanwhile, the free Curative mobile testing facility set up in the parking lot where the township offices are located at 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., The Woodlands, has seen high demand, and a second location was secured to begin operating Dec. 14 as a drive-thru.

The highest number of tests performed in a single day in the past two weeks was performed was on Nov. 23, when 1,244 were administered, according to information from Curative and the township. The positivity rate was 16.6%, according to information from the township.

"That's a significant increase over prior periods," Bunch said.

He added that vaccines are expected to be available to the medical infrastructure in December.

“We are certainly not out of the pandemic because the vaccines are ready to go; it’s going to take a while to [filter] to the general population,” Bunch said.