Brazoria County reported more than double the number of new COVID-19 cases than recoveries Friday, with 100 and 43, respectively.
This is the seventh day this month Brazoria County has reported 100 or more new cases. The county never had 100 or more cases a day before July 2, and never had more than 40 cases in a day until June 17.
The regular triple-digit reports were unexpected six weeks ago, when case counts were coming at eight, 12 and 15 daily, County Judge Matt Sebesta said.
“I would not have thought that we’d be hitting 100 by early July,” he said.
COVID can be more straining on the medical system through demands like a one-on-one nurse for each COVID patient rather than a nurse doing their typical job of handling five to six patients at a time, Sebesta said, but the hospitals are doing well and have surge plans in place.
UTMB Health Angleton-Danbury Campus is still at a manageable level, Administrator and Associate Chief Nursing Officer Beth Reimschissel said. They are able to get patients in and discharge them when appropriate, she said.
“We just know that they heal better at home,” Reimschissel said.
UTMB has 14 beds in a separate COVID unit, she said, and while that unit stays fairly busy, there has not been a need to increase the number of beds. The campus also has 16 med-surg beds and 11 women’s services beds, which accommodate women and newborns, Reimschissel said.
UTMB Angleton-Danbury Campus erected triage tents to screen potential COVID patients in the parking lot to help prevent coronavirus spread during the first wave of infections. There are not plans to bring those tents back again, mainly because the hospital has figured out a good flow to keep people safe inside and staff has learned much more about the virus, Reimschissel said.
Residents can still rely on their local hospital for medical care, COVID or otherwise, she said.
“They still have the local options like UTMB, even at the higher capacity that we have,” Reimschissel said. “Our mission is to serve the community and we’re still able to do that, thankfully.”
CHI St. Luke’s Health Brazosport also remains at a manageable capacity, CEO Al Guevara said, but he recommends residents continue to take the threat of contagion seriously, no matter their age or circumstance.
“You do not want COVID because you do not know how your body’s going to respond to it,” Guevara said. “You could be the 25-year-old with the right mix of whatever who gets severely ill.”
The new cases were spread out through 16 cities Friday.
Pearland residents made up 21 of the county’s 100 new cases Friday, according to the data, along with one Pearland woman in her 60s recorded as probable. Probable cases are in symptomatic people who are linked to a confirmed case of COVID-19, usually by living in the same household.
Confirmed Pearland cases were in four women in their 30s and two men in their 30s, along with three men in their 40s, three women in their 60s, two men and two women in their 20s, a woman in her 50s and two girls and two boys aged 10 to 19.
Angleton had the second-most number of new cases Friday with 18, the data shows. The residents confirmed to have tested positive include four men in their 40s, four women in their 30s, two men and two women in their 20s, a woman in her 70s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 50s, a man in his 50s and one boy and one girl aged 10 to 19, the data shows.
Angleton now has 178 active cases.
Alvin had 12 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday, bringing the city’s total to 218 active cases. Four of Alvin’s cases are in children younger than 10, two boys and two girls. Two others are ina boy and girl aged 10 to 19 and the rest are in adults from the ages of 20 to 69.
Lake Jackson added another nine cases, one of which is an Elmcroft Senior Living resident, Sebesta said. This is the first COVID-19 case publicly linked to the Lake Jackson assisted living and senior living facilities.
Three Lake Jackson cases are in women in their 50s, the rest are in men and women aged 20 to 79.
Freeport and Richwood were both reported to have six new COVID-19 cases Friday. Freeport’s cases were in one woman and two men in their 30s, a woman and a man in their 50s and a woman in her 60s. Richwood’s cases were in one boy younger than 10, two girls younger than 20, two men in their 30s and a woman in her 40s.
Sweeny had five new cases, all adults aged 20 to 59, bringing the city’s active case count to 29 out of its 46 reported cases.
Manvel had five new cases, Iowa Colony had four new cases, West Columbia and Liverpool each had three and Brazoria and Clute both had two. Jones Creek, Bailey’s Prairie and Danbury all had one new case.
The number of active cases has surpassed the number of people recovered with 1,523 and 1,267, respectively. There are also 29 probable cases and 20 deaths of county residents with COVID-19.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.