Coronavirus count continues climb

Fort Bend County health authorities were hoping that a stay-home order and social distancing would “flatten the curve” and stifle the novel coronavirus by the end of April.

But in mid-June COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the county. Since it first reared its ugly head on March 5, more than 2,300 residents have contracted the virus and 47 have died, the Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Department reported. The department is spearheading the county’s efforts to stanch the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

The department reported 21 more confirmed cases on Thursday afternoon, bringing the total to 2,320 over the past three and a half months. Of those, 941 victims have fully recovered, 1,308 are recuperating in-home confinement and 24 are presently hospitalized.

To be considered completely recovered, victims must test negative for the virus twice in a 14-day period.

A total of 16,519 of the county’s 820,000 residents have been tested for the virus at the county’s five free testing sites. It should be noted that residents also may have been tested at sites outside the county or at private clinics and hospitals, none of which are tracked by the health and services department.

All deaths from COVID-19 are reported to county health authorities. The continual rise in the number of cases mirrors that of the state as a whole, which has seen significant increases in the past several days. Texas reported its third consecutive day of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations on Thursday — just three weeks after tens of thousands of Texans made their way to beaches to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.

According to the Department of State Health Services, 81,583 Texans had contracted the virus as of Thursday, up 1,826 over the 79,757 reported Wednesday.Some 2,153 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized statewide, an increase from a record high of 2,056 on Tuesday, which was up from a high of 1,935 on Monday. The grim statistics were released by the Texas Association of Counties on Thursday.

Fort Bend County health authorities continue to recommend residents stay home unless absolutely necessary, wear masks when in public and continue to wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.Of the 2,320 confirmed cases in Fort Bend County, the majority — 1,232 — are females.

Blacks make up the majority of those catching the virus with 31% falling ill, followed closely by Hispanics at 30%. Whites make up 19% of the cases and Asians account for 18%.

The Texas Association of Counties report reveals that Texas is one of at least nine states where coronavirus hospitalizations have increased sharply since Memorial Day weekend.

It takes about nine to 16 days to see in-creases in coronavirus infections and an-other five to seven days to see changes in the numbers of people hospitalized, said Rebecca Fischer, a Texas A&M University epidemiologist.

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