DSHS said Thursday in a statement that after changing the way it collects death data, now relying on death certificates, there was an "automation error" that caused roughly 225 deaths to be included in the count, even though COVID-19 was not listed as a direct cause of death on those death certificates.
"A manual quality check revealed the issue late Wednesday, and the counts were corrected in time for today's’ update," a DSHS spokesperson wrote.
Initially, DSHS announced 313 newly reported deaths on Wednesday. The department now says that the number was actually 302.
DSHS corrected the totals dating back to Monday:
- Monday: 5,489
- Tuesday: 5,650 (an increase of 161)
- Wednesday: 5,952 (an increase of 302)
- Thursday: 6,274 (an increase of 322)
There are some encouraging trends. The statewide seven-day average positivity rate is down to 12.09%, showing a downward trend since July 16. The state's seven-day average of new cases has also been trending downward over the last 10 days.
The Houston Health Department reported 1,304 new cases and 15 new deaths. On Wednesday, the department reported 1,045 new cases and nine new deaths. Thursday's numbers mark the second consecutive day of more than 1,000 new cases in a day. The last time Houston reported at least 1,000 new cases in a day was July 16.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Thursday that 200 people had died from COVID-19 in the city in July alone, with one more day until the end of the month. Houston currently has 432 deaths, which means at least 46% of COVID-19 deaths in the city happened in July.
Harris County, outside the city of Houston, reported 420 new cases and 6 new deaths.