Judson COVID Teasting

School nurses Kristee Moreno and Janice Brooks spends her morning administering rapid COVID-19 tests, on Thursday January 13, 2022, at Judson Middle School. (Michael Cavazos/ News-Journal Photo)

Community transmission levels of COVID-19 in Gregg County has been on a steady decline in the past week as the county recovers from a single-month record of new cases.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District on Thursday reported a seven-day rolling rate of new cases of 79.87 in Gregg County, which is an 18% decrease from Monday when the spread was at 97.50.

Gregg County has the third-highest level of community spread among the seven counties for which NET Health provides disease surveillance. Anderson County has the highest seven-day rolling rate of new cases at 95.01, and Rains County has the lowest rate at 46.80.

NET Health reported 321 new total virus cases — 87 confirmed and 234 probable — in Gregg County, which is down from 371 new cases reported Monday. The county’s active cases, however, increased by nearly 350 — from 5,491 reported on Monday to 5,779 reported Thursday — a 5% jump.

During January, Gregg County saw its highest number of infections in a single month since NET Health began recording data in September 2020. In January, there were 4,643 new cases of the virus reported, surpassing the 4,099 previous pandemic-high in September 2021.

As of Thursday, the county has recorded 1,167 new cases of the virus this month. Comparatively, there were 435 cases reported in all of December and 121 cases reported in November.

Thursday’s report shows that the number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Tyler hospitals has decreased since Monday. NET Health reported 242 East Texans treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals, 30 less than those reported Monday. The previous peak of hospitalizations was in September 2021 at 389.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G, which includes Tyler and Longview, showed a decline as well. On Thursday, 453 patients were hospitalized in the region, a decrease of 32 since Monday’s report. Hospitalizations include 117 patients in ICUs and 88 patients on ventilators. In September 2021, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.

As of Thursday in Gregg County, 56.17% of people 5 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 49.07% of people 5 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state. State data shows 88.96% of people 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose on Thursday, while 81.30% of that population had been fully vaccinated. As of Nov. 4, children 5 to 11 years of age are included in vaccination numbers and rates.

Data gathered in Thursday’s report represents data from noon Monday to noon Thursday.