As East Texans joined their fellow Americans on Monday to mark Memorial Day — remembering those who fell in battle for the nation, celebrating the unofficial start of summer and testing newfound liberties after two months of lockdown from COVID-19 — a Gregg County health official offered a wary forecast for two weeks from now.
Gregg County Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne reported Monday that all six of the new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the county on Saturday came from one family.
“That was from getting together for Mother’s Day,” Browne said of a May 10 gathering. “They’re all in the family. I don’t know if they’re living in the same household. It took that long for Mother’s Day numbers to show us something.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it takes anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the new coronavirus for symptoms to appear.
“We’ll be interested to see what Memorial Day brings,” Browne said. “People are not being cautious. When I’ve been out, I’ve noticed people aren’t particularly being cautious.”
Gregg County Health Administrator A.J. Harris on Monday reported one new case of COVID-19 in the county, bumping that total to 204.
Browne said the new patient, a male, is hospitalized but not in an intensive care unit, and the case is the result of community spread.
Harris said 2,007 total tests had been administered in the county as of Monday, with 1,653 results returning negative and 150 results pending.
The county’s total number of recoveries on Monday stood at 58, and the county has recorded five deaths from the virus.
Titus County continues as the hot spot in Northeast Texas for positive coronavirus test results. County Judge Brian Lee reported Monday that 27 new cases had been recorded Sunday, pushing the county’s total to 299.
“I don’t believe this count includes any Pilgrim’s results from last week,” Lee said, referring to two days of a voluntary testing the Pilgrim’s chicken processing plant in Mount Pleasant offered all its employees.
Titus County has recorded two deaths.
In Panola County, Judge LeeAnn Jones said her county recorded an additional fatality on Monday, raising the death toll to 22. Jones also reported her county’s cumulative total of positive cases rose from the previously reported 188 to 194 on Monday.
In Harrison County, Judge Chad Sims reported one new case of COVID-19, bringing his county’s total of positive results to 234. The county has has 67 recoveries and 23 deaths. It now has 144 active cases.
Across the 25-county East Texas region, at least 2,490 cases had been reported by Monday evening, up 43 from 2,447 the day before. By Monday evening, 111 total deaths had been reported, two more than Sunday.
Statewide, Texas health officials reported another eight deaths and 623 new cases of COVID-19 on Memorial Day.
The state had 55,971 confirmed cases and 1,527 fatalities related to the virus as of Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The true numbers are likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
More than 35,000 Texans who were sickened by COVID-19 now have recovered, according to state estimates.