Brazoria County reported more than double the number of recoveries than new cases Thursday along with three new deaths.
The county’s COVID-19 death toll is now 103, meaning it has more than doubled since the start of August, when the number was 44.
Two of Thursday’s announced deaths were Pearland residents: a woman in her 60s and a man in his 90s, according to information from county spokeswoman Sharon Trower. Forty-two residents from the Brazoria County portion of Pearland have died, according to county data.
The other person announced to have died was an Angleton woman in her 80s, Trower said.
The county announced 69 new COVID-19 cases and 179 new recoveries Thursday, indicating the county’s recovery rate will continue to reflect the overall data that supports the vast majority of people with the novel coronavirus recover.
Of the 69 cases, 32 were from tests administered more than two weeks ago, Trower said.
Recovery numbers began following this trend when the county health department changed its criteria for recoveries last month. Along with a case being at least 10 days past onset of symptoms, the person having no fever for the previous 24 hours and improvement of other symptoms — which is the continued criteria — the department is also considering a case at least 28 days past the first positive result, and the person is not hospitalized or in a nursing home, as a recovered case.
Recoveries outnumbered active cases in the county for the second time Aug. 22 and the gap has widened since.
But along with new cases, recoveries create work for emergency personnel. The county reports new cases and recoveries to Lake Jackson daily, city Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Bryan Sidebottom said.
With new cases, he flags the location where an infected person could be to alert other first responders, especially EMS, Sidebottom said. This will let them know to take proper personal protective equipment with them, he said. When the case is considered recovered, the city removes that flag, he said.
Since the pandemic began, the city, along with agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of State Health Services, has learned more and gotten better at asking the right questions, Sidebottom said.
They ask questions with every 911 call they get as an extra measure of protection to add to the information from the health department, he said.
Lake Jackson EMS has been able to relax the number of calls that required a full-PPE response since the pandemic began, Chief Chris Sermarini said at Lake Jackson’s latest council meeting.
Out of Thursday’s 69 new cases, 27 are out of Pearland, according to county data. Angleton had the second-most new cases with 10.
Other cities with new cases include Alvin with six, Freeport with five and Manvel with four. Lake Jackson, Clute, Iowa Colony and West Columbia each had two new cases while Richwood, Brazoria, Sweeny and Oyster Creek each had one.
People in their 30s had the most new cases Thursday with 13, followed by people in their 20s with 12, adolescents with 11 and people in their 40s with 10 new cases. People in their 50s had nine new cases. There were 6 new cases among people in their 60s, two in children younger than 10 and a Brazoria man in his 70s rounded out Thursday’s count.
The county has had 10,236 cases of the novel coronavirus. There are 1,582 active cases, 8,544 cases considered recovered, seven probable cases and 103 people have died.
Probable causes are in people exhibiting symptoms and are linked to others who tested positive for the virus.
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.