Frio COVID Update | July 16, 2021

For more data, including ICE, TDCJ numbers, and surrounding counties, visit this site’s Frio COVID Dashboard page.

This post is a replication of the Frio COVID Lifeline updates, a component of the program that was funded by Frio County and the City of Dilley through January 2021 and by the City of Pearsall through February 2021.

There’s a lot to catch up on… For a full explanation of the difference between data available today versus February 2021, jump to the “Reporting Update” section of this post. If you were a frequent follower of the Frio COVID Lifeline updates, it is critical to understand the differences.

JULY 16, 2021

6 New Frio County Cases since July 14, 2021
Active Increase: 4
Recovered Increase: 2
Fatalities Increase: 0

Due to reporting cutbacks from The Texas Department of State Health Services, it is uncertain whether the 6 new cases since July 14 are community cases, ICE or TDCJ cases, or a mix. Based on other available data, I would infer that the 22 new cases are community based until informed differently by DSHS:

● ICE and TDCJ publish inmate numbers independently to their websites before they show up in the DSHS numbers we use for the above post. Since July 14, there have been no changes to the published ICE and TDCJ numbers.
● Active ICE detainee cases have totaled 89 since July 14. Since 89 is greater than 36 (the number of total active cases in the county including ICE, according to DSHS), we know that the ICE numbers have yet to be factored.
● Surrounding counties that do not have ICE detention centers saw jumps in their active cases since July 14: 5 new active cases in Medina, 21 in Atascosa, and 7 in Zavala.

REPORTING UPDATE (written July 14, 2021)

In the former website, the “Frio County Case Count” box counted residents only, and did not include ICE or TDCJ inmates. However, the Texas Department of State Health Services no longer separates those values, so the Active (Estimated), Recovered (Estimated), and Fatalities boxes will include ICE and TDCJ cases until further notice.

But you might notice that today (July 14, 2021), the number of active ICE cases (89), exceeds the reported total number of Active cases in the county (32). This means that the Texas Department of State Health Services has delayed incorporating the ICE (and likely TDCJ) active numbers into their dashboard.

Since these numbers were last tracked five months ago, CoreCivic’s South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley leapfrogged GEO’s South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall in total Covid cases. On February 17, 2021, Dilley CoreCivic total cases were 44, while Pearsall GEO total cases were 312. Today, those numbers stand at 937 in Dilley and 805 in Pearsall.

Given that ICE cases have yet to show up in our active totals as reported by the DSHS, it becomes apparent that our total cases are severely underreported as well. Expect a reporting spike when DSHS catches up with the data.

TDCJ no longer reports Offender Recovered or Employee Recovered numbers. Frio COVID Lifeline used to track increases in the sum of active and recovered numbers to arrive at a number of new cases. Without the recovered number, we can no longer track new cases.

Unfortunately, these are the best numbers we have. I am sharing them because, in this case, I believe some information is better than none.

written by Jose Asuncion, County Commissioner, Pct. 4