COVID-19 coverage graphic

Public health officials Friday announced a single-digit increase in new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Gregg County for the first time this week.

Regional health organization the Northeast Texas Public Health District, known as NET Health, said the eight new cases brought the total confirmed cases in Gregg County to 2,299. Recoveries on Friday remained at 1,781, and coronavirus-related deaths were unchanged at 38.

The health district reported three active cases of the virus in Gregg County Jail inmates, up one from the previous day.

Harrison County Judge Chad Sims on Friday reported 10 new recoveries and five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in his county.

The county has had 918 confirmed cases with 844 recoveries and 35 coronavirus-related deaths. On Friday, the county had 39 active cases.

Sims encouraged residents to not let up on taking precautions.

“Continue to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask in public areas, washing or sanitizing your hands frequently and avoiding crowded places,” he said.

Free walk-up COVID-19 testing is available again 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Marshall Convention Center. No appointment is necessary, and symptoms are not required. Those wishing to be testing should preregister at texas.curativeinc.com .

NET Health on Friday reported nearly two dozen new confirmed cases in Smith County residents with no new recoveries and slightly fewer hospitalizations.

The health district said there were 23 new cases in the county for a cumulative total of 3,899. Recoveries from the virus and fatalities in the county remained at 3,020 and 61, respectively.

On Friday, there were 119 COVID-19 patients in East Texas hospitals, down from 122 on Thursday.

The state on Friday reported two fewer cases of the coronavirus in Rusk County for a total of 965. It was the second time this week fewer cases than the previous day were reported. The county’s COVID-19 deaths remained at 11, according to the state.

Upshur County had three new confirmed cases and no new deaths, the state reported, with 402 cumulative cases and 10 coronavirus-related deaths.

Pine Tree ISD

Pine Tree ISD on Friday reported new positive test results in a high school student and a junior high staff member.

The freshman student and the staff member were not exposed to the virus on campus, according to the district.

School districts throughout the state are required weekly to report COVID-19 cases in staff and students to the state to be posted on the Texas Education Agency website.

As of Sunday, Pine Tree ISD had reported 17 student cases and five in staff members.

Statewide

Texas health officials reported 2,729 new coronavirus cases on Friday, along with 72 more deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

That brought the total number of Texas cases since tracking of the pandemic began in March to 756,004, with a death toll of 15,895, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported. The health department also estimated 69,431 active cases of the virus, including 3,227 current hospital patients, up from 3,190 on Thursday.