HOUSTON — COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still at some of the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. However, after months of watching numbers hit new lows, they’re once again moving in the wrong direction.
Almost every county in the area is seeing an increase in new cases. KHOU 11 analyzed health department data and found daily new cases in the Greater Houston area have jumped about 65% in the last two weeks. The seven-day moving average is now 588 new cases a day.
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That number varies depending on the county.
New cases in Harris County have increased 36% since July 1. Numbers in Galveston, Fort Bend and Montgomery have almost doubled.
The biggest jumps are in Brazoria and Chambers counties, where there has been a more than 200% increase daily in new cases. Numbers in Brazoria County tripled from an average of 24 new cases per day to 72. The increase in Chambers County was on a smaller scale, from four cases per day to 13.
The Texas Medical Center is seeing hospital admissions rise too. Memorial Hermann and Houston Methodist say nearly all severe cases right now are patients who are not vaccinated.
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The Houston Health Department shared daily reports from the last week, which show a recent uptick in cases:
- July 8: 282 newly-reported cases with 8 within the last 14 days
- July 9: 153 newly-reported cases with 36 within the last 14 days
- July 12: 121 newly-reported cases with 5 within the last 14 days
- July 13: 51 newly-reported cases with 34 within the last 14 days
- July 14: 345 newly-reported cases with 291 within the last 14 days
- July 15: 319 newly reported cases with 318 within the last 14 days
“We are seeing an increase in the overall amount of virus in the wastewater. We are seeing an increasing percentage of that which is Delta variant. We are seeing a decreasing percentage of Alpha variant,” said Dr. David Persse, medical director of the Houston Health Department. “We need to not be so focused on the numbers, because the number of people getting tested has gone down so much. We need to pay better attention to the percent positivity. I think that will give us a better indication of what is going on in the overall community.”