CHI St Luke's Health Brazosport

CHI St Luke's Health Brazosport in Lake Jackson.

Brazoria County reported Thursday its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since July 1, but the 84 cases is more than the county had ever reported before June 26.

A resident of Creekside Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Pearland with COVID-19 was announced to have died Thursday, County Judge Matt Sebesta said.

The CEO of CHI St. Luke’s Health Brazosport is urging residents to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously as they weather an increase in demand, much like hospitals across the state.

“It’s tight, there’s no question about it,” CEO Al Guevara said. “The increase in COVID has strained our capacity, but … we’re still able to accommodate.”

The staff is working extremely hard and they have additional staffing resources lined up in anticipation this isn’t the peak, he said.

“This is real and we haven’t even felt the impact of whatever might have happened on July 4th,” Guevara said.

He’s hopeful that people had a good time during the holiday weekend, but did it responsibly with face masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing, he said.

“Assume everyone you come into contact with has it,” Guevara said.

Right now the hospital is in a balance and patients who need to be admitted are admitted in alignment with people who are now well and discharged, he said.

“Beds are emptying and refilling pretty much immediately,” Guevara said.

They don’t want to tip into an imbalance where waits are exceptionally long, he said.

“Any system has a capacity, that capacity can be enhanced … if it goes beyond that, a system has its limits,” Guevara said.

There is no need to panic, but people have to take the contagiousness of the virus seriously, he said.

“The whole system is gonna be stressed, so please act in accordance and be cautious,” Guevara said. “The increase is continuing and it is pretty much day-by-day.”

Pearland had 27 new cases announced Thursday, bringing the city’s active case count to 477, according to Brazoria County data.

Angleton had the second-most new cases Thursday with 11, bringing the city’s active case count to 165, the data shows. One Angleton case is connected to a Country Village Care resident, Sebesta said.

Lake Jackson had nine new cases, two of which are connected to Oak Village Healthcare residents, he said. Manvel had eight new cases and Freeport and Alvin each had six, according to the data.

The 84 cases are spread out among 16 cities.

Holiday Lakes was announced to have five new cases, making Thursday the first time the city has had more than two new cases announced in a day. The cases are in four boys 10 to 19 years old and a woman in her 50s, the county data shows.

Clute and Richwood both had five new cases Thursday, according to the data, and Brazoria had three. Liverpool, Brookside Village, Sweeny and West Columbia all had two new cases while Jones Creek and Iowa Colony each had one.

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.

Maddy McCarty is assistant managing editor for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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