The number of new COVID-19 cases in Gregg County continues to fall along with the level of community spread of the virus.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District reported 76 new COVID-19 cases Thursday in Gregg County — 28 confirmed and 48 probable — since Monday. NET Health also reported Gregg County’s level of community spread again dropped, leaving it within the “moderate” range.

The county’s community spread level, which is set based on its seven-day rolling rate of infection, has gone from “substantial” to “moderate,” back to “substantial” and again to “moderate” in recent reports.

On Thursday, the rolling rate for the past seven days in Gregg County was 18.09, about 33% lower than Monday’s report.

Moderate spread, which represents an average of 10 to 35 new cases per day in the previous week, means there is “sustained transmission with confirmed exposure within congregate settings, and potential for rapid increase in cases,” according to NET Health. Substantial community spread, which is an average of more than 35 new cases, is “large scale, uncontrolled community transmission.”

In its latest report, NET Health shows Gregg is joined by Anderson, Henderson, Wood, Van Zandt and Rains counties in having “moderate” levels of community spread. Smith County is the only county in NET Health’s region with “substantial” levels of community spread.

Recoveries from the virus in Gregg County residents also rose significantly since NET Health last released numbers Monday. Monday’s report showed 16,891 confirmed and probable recoveries compared with 17,683 on Thursday. There were 1,153 active cases of COVID-19 in county residents Thursday, according to NET Health.

The health district reported it would no longer report deaths from the virus beginning Aug. 31. The state, however, continues to track deaths.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has not increased its death count for Gregg County since Oct. 3.

According to NET Health’s Thursday report, 177 East Texans were being treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals. The last time Smith County saw a similar local hospitalization rate was in August. Thursday’s data remains 54% lower than the high of 389, which was set in early September just after Labor Day weekend.

One Smith County Jail inmate on Thursday had an active diagnosis of COVID-19, according to NET Health. One inmate has died due to COVID-19.

Data gathered in Thursday’s report represents the past 48 hours, from noon Monday to noon Thursday.

On Thursday, there were 350 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G, approximately 29 fewer than Monday. Of COVID patients hospitalized, 142 of those are in ICUs and 127 patients are on ventilators. Earlier in September, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.

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