COVID-19 coverage graphic

State health officials announced Saturday that no COVID-19 vaccines are scheduled for delivery this week to Gregg County providers.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement that the state is set to receive 333,650 first doses of vaccines this week that will be distributed to 260 providers.

“That includes 79 hub providers that will focus on large community vaccination efforts and 181 additional providers as Texas vaccinates health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, people 65 and older and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19,” according to the statement.

The nearest Longview-area providers set to receive vaccines this week are the Marshall-Harrison County Health District and Wellness Pointe in Gilmer.

Four providers in Smith County, including the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, are scheduled to receive a total of 4,250 vaccines this week.

Meanwhile, public health officials on Friday announced there have been 68 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Gregg County as hospitalizations from the virus in the region remained Saturday above 15% for the 33rd straight day.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District, known as NET Health, reported the newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 bring Gregg County’s cumulative count to 4,904. The county’s confirmed deaths from the virus remained at 87, and recoveries increased by one to 3,214.

The numbers do not include 3,547 probable cases, 1,616 probable recoveries and 69 probable deaths.

A case is considered probable when a person receives a positive result from a rapid test that is not then laboratory confirmed.

On Friday, there were 1,603 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in the county.

Active cases in Gregg County Jail inmates on Friday increased by one to eight.

NET Health does not update cases counts on the weekends.

The latest state data show COVID-19 patients have taken up more than 15% of hospital capacity in a region that includes Longview and Tyler for 33 straight days; however, the rate has declined the past five days after reaching a record of 25.43% on Jan. 9.

COVID-19 patients on Friday, the latest day for which data was available, accounted for 21.04% of hospital capacity in the Trauma Service Region G that stretches across a 19-county region in Northeast Texas and includes Gregg, Upshur, Rusk, Harrison, Panola and Smith counties. According to Texas Department of State Health Services, the rate was up slightly from 19.88% on Thursday.

Seven consecutive days of hospitalization rates for the Trauma Service Area on Dec. 20 set in motion renewed restrictions at businesses and restaurants in the region, per an executive order issued in October by Gov. Greg Abbott.

The counties that make up the trauma service area are Gregg, Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Franklin, Freestone, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.

Seven consecutive days in which the COVID-19 hospitalization rate is less than 15% of total hospital capacity in the region are required to lift the mandate.

The state reported 32 ICU beds were available in hospitals throughout Trauma Service Area G.

In Smith County, NET Health reported 108 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one additional death. The county has had 8,881 confirmed cases, 5,901 recoveries and 157 fatalities.

On Friday, there were 259 patients with probable or confirmed COVID-19 being treated at Tyler hospitals, a decrease of 27 from Thursday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Saturday reported 39 new cases of coronavirus in Harrison County residents and no additional deaths.

The county has had 1,781 cases and 70 fatalities from the virus, according to state data.

The state reported 24 new cases of the coronavirus in Rusk County and two additional deaths. The county has had 1,710 positive cases, according to the state, and 62 COVID-19 deaths.

Upshur County’s daily coronavirus cases increased by 24 for a total of 951, and the county’s deaths from the virus remained at 39.

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Follow Scott on Twitter @sabrunner.