COVID-19 testing

A Texas National Guard medic pulls a swab from packaging to administer a COVID-19 test at a mobile walk-up testing site at the Victoria Community Center in 2020.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services and the Victoria County Public Health Department reported 491 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths from the respiratory disease Tuesday.

Some counties saw large jumps in new cases likely due to catching up on reporting from last week’s winter storm.

One death each was reported in both Victoria and Wharton counties, according to the state data.

On Tuesday, 73 COVID-19 patients occupied 11.5% of 635 staffed hospital beds in the Victoria’s trauma service area, according to the state health department. Hospitalization data is delayed by one day. Because Victoria’s trauma service area has experienced seven consecutive days with COVID-19 patients occupying less than 15% of available hospital beds, restaurants and other businesses can increase their capacity to 75%, and in Victoria County bars can reopen.

There were 241 empty hospital beds, and 22 empty beds in intensive care units, according to state data.

No local jails have reported new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, according to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

About the data: On Jan. 13, the Advocate shifted to using only COVID-19 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and Victoria County Public Health Department to provide daily updates on the spread of the coronavirus in the region. The state compiles case data from local health departments and DSHS health regions, and pulls COVID-19 fatality data directly from official death certificates. These numbers are preliminary and therefore subject to change. State data may differ from data reported by local and regional health authorities because of delays in reporting or discrepancies. We will continue to update the numbers in real time and report changes as they arise.

For any questions about COVID-19 data, please reach out to the newsroom by sending an email to

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