The region’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb as health officials Thursday reported the virus’s rate of spread in Gregg County again increased.
The Northeast Texas Public Health District reported 669 new total cases of COVID-19 in Gregg County residents in the past three days. The county’s active case count, however, decreased by 312 since Monday’s report from NET Health as recoveries in the county rose from 6,513 to 6,933.
NET Health reported 2,324 total — confirmed and probable — cases in Gregg County residents Thursday.
Cases have been rising in recent weeks as a new wave of COVID-19 erupts in the region and the state largely driven by the Delta variant.
On Thursday, new data from the Texas Department of State Health Services showed the Longview and Tyler region’s hospitalizations from the virus again broke records this week. On Wednesday, the latest day for which data was available, there were 795 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Trauma Region G.
The number had not risen above 700 — even during previous high single-day hospitalizations in early January — before Aug. 24 when it hit 702 . Hospitalizations have reached new single-day records seven times since Aug. 24.
Community spread levels of COVID-19 in Gregg and Smith counties also had increased Thursday, according to NET Health.
The health district also provides disease surveillance for Anderson, Henderson, Rains, Van Zandt and Wood counties. The seven-day rolling rate of infection in each of the seven counties except Van Zandt rose since Monday.
Gregg County’s seven-day rolling rate of infection was up by more than 18% going from 99.12 to 117.33. Smith County’s rate also increased to more than 100 to 112.44.
The seven-day rolling rate is calculated by taking the average number of all COVID-positive cases from the previous seven days. That number is then divided by the population of the county and multiplied by 100,000 to produce a seven-day rolling rate.
In Smith County, there were 903 new COVID-19 cases since Monday. Of the new cases, 422 were confirmed and 481 were probable.
According to NET Health, 368 patients were being treated for COVID-19 on Thursday at Tyler hospitals.
NET Health reported it would no longer be updating COVID-19 fatalities for its seven counties, deferring instead to state data.
The number of residents vaccinated in Gregg and Smith counties has changed little in the past few days, increasing by less than a percentage point.
In Gregg County, 43.16% of people 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, according to the state, and 74.38% of people 65 and older have been fully vaccinated.
In Smith County, 43.04% of people 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, and 73.72% of residents 65 and older have been fully vaccinated.