Public health officials on Friday announced one new confirmed COVID-19 death in Gregg County and 71 newly confirmed cases since Wednesday as hospitalizations from the virus in the region remained above 15% for the 25th straight day.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District, known as NET Health, reported the newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 bring the county’s cumulative count to 4,425. One additional death brought the county’s confirmed fatalities to 84. Confirmed recoveries remained at 3,213.

The numbers do not include 3,021 probable cases, 1,616 probable recoveries and 63 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 1,128 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in the county.

Active cases in Gregg County Jail inmates on Friday increased by one to 16.

The latest state data shows COVID-19 patients accounted for 21.48% 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 21.48% COVID-19 patient hospital capacity for the region on Thursday is down slightly from the previous day’s record of 22.06%, and it marks the 25th consecutive day that the rate surpassed 15%.

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 new mandate.

The state on Friday reported 24 ICU beds were available in hospitals throughout Trauma Service Area G.

In Smith County, NET Health reported 184 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past two days and two additional deaths. The county has had 7,758 confirmed cases, 5,898 recoveries and 153 fatalities.

On Wednesday, there were 298 patients with probable or confirmed COVID-19 being treated at Tyler hospitals, an increase of two from Wednesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Friday reported 62 new cases of coronavirus in Harrison County residents since Wednesday and two additional deaths.

The county has had 1,594 cases and 67 fatalities from the virus, according to state data.

The state reported 12 new cases of the coronavirus in Rusk County since Wednesday and one additional death. The county has had 1,592 positive cases, according to the state, and 56 COVID-19 deaths.

Upshur County’s coronavirus cases increased by 13 for a total of 838, and the county’s deaths from the virus remained at 33.

In Smith County, NET Health reported 485 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Friday and no additional deaths. The county has had 8,243 confirmed cases, 5,901 recoveries and 153 fatalities.

On Tuesday, there were 316 patients with probable or confirmed COVID-19 being treated at Tyler hospitals, an increase of 18 from Friday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Tuesday reported 99 new cases of coronavirus in Harrison County residents since Friday and one additional death.

The county has had 1,693 cases and 68 fatalities from the virus, according to state data.

The state reported 69 new cases of the coronavirus in Rusk County since Friday and two additional deaths. The county has had 1,661 positive cases, according to the state, and 58 COVID-19 deaths.

Upshur County’s coronavirus cases increased by 52 for a total of 890, and the county’s deaths from the virus increased by five to 38.

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