Texas health officials Tuesday reported 4,816 new cases of the coronavirus and 132 additional deaths as the University of Texas at Austin unveiled a new online tool that illustrates how the virus is growing in specific regions across the state.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state is now 668,746, while the death toll stands at 14,343, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The true number of cases in Texas is likely higher though because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
Health officials estimate that almost 68,500 cases in the state are active.
There were about 3,300 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Texas on Tuesday, health officials said. The number of hospitalizations has been decreasing since peaking July 22 at 10,893.
The new online dashboard at covid-19.tacc.utexas.edu/texas-projections/ uses data compiled by UT Austin researchers.
The Texas Department of State Health Services divides the state into 22 trauma service areas (TSAs) to track health care and emergency resources for those regions, according to UT Austin. Hospitalization data for each area was combined with anonymous cell phone mobility data from those areas and other data to predict how the pandemic is progressing in each area and its impact on local health care resources.
The new online tool is based on one that was created for the city of Austin in June that tracks hospitalizations and ICU patients, according to UT Austin, along with the rate at which the infection is spreading, the likelihood the pandemic is declining and the rate of decline or increase during the past 14 days.
Gregg County is included in a TSA with Harrison, Rusk, Upshur, Panola, Smith and 13 other area counties.