HOUSTON — Texas' Department of State Health Services reported a new single-day high of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday with 15,182 and 170 newly reported deaths.
The average number of daily cases have nearly doubled in the last 30 days.
In November, Texas averaged more than 8,372 new COVID-19 cases per day. In October, the state averaged more than 4,340 cases a day.
The highest single-day count in October was 7,055 on Oct. 27. In November, the highest single-day count was 14,648 on Nov. 25.
“There’s just so much more COVID-19 out in the environment right now, we have to be careful," said Dr. James McDeavitt, SVP and Dean of Clinical Affairs for Baylor College of Medicine. “In a high prevalence environment, it’s really important that people take it seriously.”
In the City of Houston, the average number of daily new cases (specimens collected within 14 days of the day's report) was 204 in October. In November, it was 394.
In Harris County (outside the city of Houston) in October, the average number of daily new cases was 194. In November, it was 828.
“It’s slow and steady and all the metrics are going in the wrong direction," said McDeavitt.
Dr. McDeavitt said it is too early to tell if the numbers will skyrocket, but that people's efforts to mask, social distance, and stay outside have prevented an exponential increase so far.
“I think that’s what’s protecting us right now. Now if everybody could buy into that – won’t happen – but if everybody bought into it, we’d be doing even better. We could actually flatten the curve," said Dr. McDeavitt.
Statewide, 9,047 COVID-19 patients are in Texas hospitals. The last time Texas had that many people hospitalized with the virus was on July 31.
Doctors expect cases and hospitalizations to show a rise in about two weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, where people gathered despite CDC warnings not to do so.
Harris County remains in the "red" or "severe" COVID-19 threat level.
The Texas Attorney General ruled that White House coronavirus task force reports sent to the Governor must be made public. In a report from November 22, the report states, "Texas continues to be in a full resurgence and mitigation efforts must intensify."
McDeavitt said people should start planning for how to have a safe Christmas now in order to meet the testing and quarantining requirements for safety.