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For the first time in several weeks, the number of new cases of coronavirus has surpassed the number of recoveries reported in Brazoria County. While the statistics showing 71 new cases and 70 recoveries might seem discouraging, officials said there is a simple exlpanation.

With most cases of COVID-19 lasting about two weeks, the 70 recoveries seen in the daily report Thursday is on par with the low number of new cases seen each day in the last half of March.

“That has fluctuated in the past,” Judge Matt Sebesta said of the ratio of new cases to recoveries.

Just over two weeks ago, Brazoria County was seeing very few new cases of COVID-19 with recoveries doubling or even tripling them. Now, with fewer people needing to recover from those low numbers, it’s expected that the cases and recoveries would balance eventually.

Another vital number is remaining steady in the area with both Sebesta and UTMB Health Angleton Danbury Hospital Administrator and Associate Chief Nursing Officer Beth Reimschissel reporting vaccination demand is just as high as it has been throughout the past month.

“We received almost 16,000 doses in the county this week, spread across a variety of providers, which is a good thing,” Sebesta said. “From the start, I’ve always said that the more providers that have the vaccine, the better.”

The demand is still high enough to continue holding mass vaccinations, Reimschissel said, with the next one planned for Saturday at the Dow Academic Center in Lake Jackson.

“Attendance to our vaccination clinics still remains strong,” she said. “Although we have seen a higher number of no-shows, we contribute that to the increased availability of vaccines in the county. The heightened availability of vaccines locally is a tremendous blessing.”

The state’s vaccine availability map shows seven locations in the county, most of them pharmacies, received vaccine doses this week, with the Angleton Kroger leading the way with 211 doses of Moderna and 290 doses of single-shot Johnson & Johnson.

“Vaccination is just as important as we strive to manage the lower rates of those impacted by COVID-19,” Reimschissel said. “My advice is if you have the ability to get vaccinated, please take that opportunity to do your part to make the pandemic end. Each person getting vaccinated puts us closer to that goal.”

Of the 71 new cases in the county reported Thursday, 13 were confirmed in Alvin and 10 were from Pearland. The rest of the county added only a few each, including five in Angleton, four in West Columbia, two each in Manvel, Freeport and Clute with only one case in each Lake Jackson, Sweeny and Iowa Colony.

The remaining 23 cases were listed as probable.

Probable cases account for those exhibiting COVID symptoms and who are linked to others who have tested positive for the virus, usually by living in the same household. The definition of probable cases also includes those for which antigen tests have provided presumptive laboratory evidence of infection, no matter whether the person qualifies as a close contact.

Three deaths were reported Thursday — a Lake Jackson woman in her 70s and a man and woman, both in their 90s, who were residents of Tuscany Village Nursing Home in Pearland. That follows seven cases reported Wednesday.

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.

Teresa Dowling is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0154.

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