THE WEEK OF AUGUST 28 – SEPTEMBER 3
Texas Department of State Health Services reported:72 New Covid Cases in Frio County
(35 New Covid Cases were reported the week prior)
Active cases increased by: 37
Recovered cases increased by: 34
Fatalities increased by: 1
Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported:
19 New GEO Pearsall Detainee Covid Cases
23 New CoreCivic Dilley Detainee Covid Cases
11 New La Quinta Pearsall Detainee Covid Cases
The Trickiness of Department of State Health Services Covid Case Counts
This week showed a 100% jump in new cases over the prior week, but as we’ve said many times before, the case count numbers are unreliable on their own for several reasons.
-DSHS is often backlogged in their reporting. The numbers sometimes represent a daily or weekly undercount as new cases go unreported, but they may also represent an overcount when those new cases are finally filed all at once.
-ISD Covid protocols have introduced an increased rigor in recent tracking and reporting- an indication of a better count, not necessarily increased spread.
-Many of the popular home Covid tests do not require reporting to DSHS and therefore will not be reflected in the State case counts.
Case counts are best looked at for trends rather than accurate snapshots and in tandem with the other numbers we receive.
Frio County Vaccination Rate:Frio County’s Fully Vaccinated Rate (age 12+) increased 1.6% for the week. The prior week’s increase was 3.1%. Vaccinated with at least one dose (12+), a better indicator of recent vaccine activity, increased 1.55%. The prior week’s increase was 3.37%. In both cases, the number of people vaccinated slowed to about half of the previous week.
COVID Hospitalizations out of Total Region P Hospital Capacity:
Frio is one of 22 counties in Trauma Service Area Region P, which serves a population of 2.9 million people.
“COVID Hospitalizations out of Total Region P Hospital Capacity” decreased by 1.42%. Region P has spent twenty-nine days over the 15% threshold. The 15% threshold line shows the point that formerly triggered the limiting the capacity of certain businesses and bars after seven days. During this wave of the pandemic, however, that order has been rescinded.
ICU Bed Usage in Region P:
The Positive Take
The ICU Bed Usage in Region P has been bending down for the past few weeks, a positive development if it continues.
Not only has Region P added ICU beds during that time, but the number of Covid ICU patients has fallen to 374 on September 3rd from the current wave’s high of 426 on August 24th.
Pearsall ISD and Dilley ISD have both issued mask mandates that will help Frio County stay the course.IndoorMaskMandate-AUG30th
The Cautious Take
Though the Region P Covid ICU and hospitalization numbers have begun to bend down, the same can’t be said for the State of Texas, which is holding steady at a higher rates. It is unclear if Region P is setting a trend or if we will eventually correct to follow the state.
On September 3rd, the state of Texas had 3837 Covid ICU patient’s, only 2 lower than this current wave’s high on August 30th.
The Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be unpredictable. The UK, where the Delta Variant took hold before the US, appeared to reach a peak in case counts in July, only to see the numbers spike again.
–written by Jose Asuncion, Frio County Commissioner, Pct. 4