The number of active COVID-19 cases in Victoria County has increased by 87% in the last week, as the nationwide increase in new virus cases becomes apparent in the Crossroads.
On Thursday, there were 142 active cases of the disease in Victoria County, according to the local public health department, up from 76 active cases a week ago on Oct. 29.
Local health officials reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Out of 4,431 total cases, the majority— 4,194 patients — have recovered. Ninety-five residents have died from complications of the virus.
Throughout Victoria’s trauma service area, 42 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, according to state health department data. These patients are occupying about 7.5% of total staffed hospital beds in the region.
Across Texas, COVID-19 hospitalizations and the seven-day average of new cases have both risen more than 80% since the beginning of October, according to the Texas Tribune. Victoria and the surrounding region saw a dramatic spike in infections during July and early August, and since then the region has seen relatively low levels of transmission. But the increasing number of new cases locally could mean that the region is headed toward another peak in cases.
Also Thursday, school officials said two Victoria students and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
A student from Victoria West High School was last on campus Monday and a student from Torres Elementary School was last on campus Wednesday, according to a district news release. The staff member, from Howell Middle School, was last on campus Monday.
Information regarding the three will not be shared at this time.
Those who are identified as to have come in close contact with any of the COVID-positive people will be notified. They will have to remain off campus for up to 14 days.
Victoria West High School has 12 reported student cases. This is the first student case reported at Torres. Three staffers have been reported positive at Howell.
The district has reported 23 staff cases and 44 student cases since reopening in September.
One new death related to COVID-19 has been reported in Matagorda County, according to state data.
The new death marks the 55th county resident who contracted COVID-19 to die.
In total, 1,130 county residents have contracted the respiratory disease since the pandemic began. Of those, an estimated 1,075 patients have recovered, according to state data.
No new cases of the respiratory disease were reported in the county on Thursday, according to state data. Still, local officials urged residents to review the guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a statement on Thursday, noting a recent uptick in positive cases.
“Consider washing your hands often, avoid large crowds, social distance, and consider wearing a mask while you are around other people,” the statement said.
A free COVID-19 testing site will be available from from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday at 201 7th St. in Bay City. It will be a drive-thru site. People do not need to register in advance.
Four new cases of COVID-19 and six more recoveries from the virus were reported among Lavaca County residents on Thursday.
Of the county’s 1,229 residents who contracted the coronavirus, an estimated 1,159 have recovered and 13 have died, according to a news release from Egon Barthels, the Lavaca County Emergency Management coordinator.
Fifty-seven residents were actively ill with the virus as of Thursday, he said.
Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Calhoun County on Thursday, bringing the county’s total number of active cases up to 11.
Of 953 total cases, an estimated 934 patients have recovered. Eight county residents have died from complications of the virus.
Wharton, DeWitt, Jackson, Goliad and Refugio counties did not publish COVID-19 reports Thursday. Some counties have reduced the frequency of their COVID-19 updates, so not local municipalities report new cases every day.