More than 3,700 residents in Fort Bend County have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic reared its ugly head in March — 1,800 in the past 26 days.

And the daily tally doesn’t include those who tested positive and whose test results were not reported over the weekend and Monday.

So far, 53 residents have succumbed to the deadly virus.

The steep increase in cases in June — the largest rise since March — led County Judge KP George to issue a mask order for commercial enterprises countywide last Tuesday.

The order provides area businesses with a good excuse to require employees and customers wear masks inside of stores.

George said business owners, health care experts and citizens asked for the order to be put in place to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

Since June 1, the county has reported 1,800 new cases, bringing the total so far to 3,716.

The county reported 783 new cases in May, 939 new cases in April and 194 cases in March.

The Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Department, which is tracking the virus’ impact on the county and its people, reported a record-high 248 new cases of the virus on Friday, as well as the 53rd death.

April remains the most deadly month in Fort Bend County with 24 perishing from the virus. Two residents died in March, 15 in May and 12 in the first 26 days of June.

The county’s Health and Human Services Department keeps a record of the deaths and new cases on its Community Impact Dashboard website.

The county reports the new positive cases as they become available.

Judge George attributes the steep increase in new cases to the phased reopening of businesses statewide in May, the Memorial Day holiday and other mass get-togethers, and the protests of George Floyd’s death earlier this month.

Of the 3,716 confirmed cases, 1,298 have recovered completely. To be considered completely recovered, a victim must test negative for the virus twice in a 14-day period. More than 80% of the people who get the virus experience mild symptoms, and some do not experience any symptoms. Those who do not experience symptoms are considered asymptomatic and could unknowingly spread the virus to others, health care experts say.

The elderly and the infirm are more likely to die after catching the virus, according to statistics.

Dr. Jacqueline Minter, director of the Fort Bend County Health Authority, attributes the decline in deaths countywide to more young people testing positive for the virus.

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