HOUSTON — A day after record-setting COVID-19 case numbers were released in Houston and across the state, public health experts are re-emphasizing the importance of looking at trends in the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, Houston reported 204 new cases. The health department believes that number is inaccurate, likely low due to what a spokesperson called a "computer system slowdown."
"Unfortunately, we do not anticipate this being an indication of fewer positive cases in Houston," the spokesperson wrote in a tweet.
Public health leaders said it generally takes three to five days to receive test results back. One possible reason for the low numbers could be that results coming in Wednesday would likely be a reflection of tests performed over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
On Wednesday, Harris County reported 497 new cases, and the state reported 9,979, with 97 deaths, its highest single-day reported death total yet.
The trends show the increasing spread, particularly when comparing the month of June to the first eight days of July.
Houston Health Department new COVID-19 cases reported:
June 1 - June 30: 12,885
July 1 - July 8: 5,309
Harris County Public Health new COVID-19 cases reported:
June 1 - June 30: 6,261
July 1 - July 8: 3,281
Texas DSHS new COVID-19 deaths reported:
June 1 - June 30: 752
July 1 - July 8: 389
These spans of time show that in the first eight days of July, the virus is on pace to kill more people and to spread more quickly than it did in all of June, and these trends do not account for the potential exponential increase in infections.
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Doctors have warned that cases would increase before deaths. If these trends continue, Texas could set more unfortunate records.