Case Counts/Testing in Texas Wednesday, Sept 2nd (4:00 PM data)
Total Tests Performed — 5,497,242
Confirmed Cases — 621,667 (4,157 new cases)
Active Cases —86,710
Hospitalizations — 4,149 (11,752 available beds, 1,137 available ICU beds)
Fatalities — 12,870 (189 new deaths)
Recovered Cases — 522,087
Inside the Numbers
Positivity rate as of Tuesday, Sept 1st was 9.64%. One month ago, there were 6,226 new cases reported, one week ago there were 5,313 new cases reported, compared to the 4,157 reported yesterday. The 4,149 COVID patients in hospitals now are 657 less than one week ago, and COVID patients make up 7.4% of total hospital beds in the state.
Vaccine by November?
According to an article in today’s New York Times, the Center for Disease Control has notified public health officials in all 50 states to prepare for distribution of a vaccine. In documents dated August 27th, the CDC outlined scenarios for distributing two unnamed vaccines that require two doses a few weeks apart. The initial round of vaccines will prioritize health care workers and individuals considered to be in “high risk” groups.
New CDC report shows 94% of COVID-19 deaths in US had contributing conditions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data last week that depicts how many Americans who have died from COVID-19 also had contributing conditions.
According to the report, only 6% of deaths have COVID-19 as the only cause mentioned, revealing that 94% of patients who died from coronavirus also had other “health conditions and contributing causes.”
The CDC listed the following as the top underlying medical conditions linked to coronavirus deaths:
- Influenza and pneumonia
- Respiratory failure
- Hypertensive disease
- Vascular and unspecified dementia
- Cardiac arrest
- Heart failure
- Renal failure
- Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events
- Other medical conditions
Governor Hints More Reopenings
Responding to a Twitter user who asked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for “clarity” on future lockdowns, Abbott said he hopes to give an update next week about the “next steps” concerning the loosening of the requirements that have caused businesses to either close or have reduced capacity.
The Twitter user, who said he is in the restaurant industry, tagged Abbott on Monday while responding to a video of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who said he would “never” do any lockdown again. “Some of us want to grow, some just trying to survive,” the Twitter user wrote to Abbott. “Regardless, banks won’t have anything to do with us because of the uncertainty. You can fix it!”
In response, Abbott reiterated his resistance to additional lockdown measures that have been proposed by some local officials. The governor pointed to COVID-19 hospitalizations, which have gone down significantly since peaking in July. Abbott did not give a date for his future announcement, only that he would have more information after the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Dallas County Lowers Risk Level
Due to continued improvement in the data, Dallas County health officials have reduced the risk level category. The risk levels are designed to guide residents on which precautions to take regarding certain activities during the pandemic. Dallas County has been at the highest level of RED for the last three months. In moving to ORANGE, some restrictions are eased, but residents are still urged to practice the usual prevention measures. Hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths have decreased in Dallas over the last two weeks. Austin and Travis County reduced their threat level last week due to similar decreases in data.
COVID Hospitalizations Dropping Statewide
After a midsummer surge that pushed some hospitals near capacity, coronavirus numbers regarding hospitalizations improved significantly in August, and hospitalizations have been reduced to their lowest levels in two months. Statewide cases reached a peak in late July, and patients hospitalized with the infection was approximately 11,000 per day. The daily average for the week ending August 31st was just under 4,500 COVID patients. The last time hospitalizations were this low was in late June.
Sorry to end on a bad note, but not all the news is good, as we seem to be getting used to over the last several months.
United Airlines, which claims the largest market share in both Houston airports, will send out over 16,000 furlough notices today. Of that, just over 1,300 workers based in Houston will be affected, with the furloughs to begin October 1st. The original bailout money given by Congress earlier in the year will expire this month. And with Congress at a stalemate over the next round of relief packages, the airline claims there is too much uncertainty in the travel industry to sustain the workforce. Among the 16,000 jobs being furloughed, roughly 7,000 are flight attendants, 3,000 are pilots, and the remainder are involved in maintenance and other airport operations. United has committed to recall the workers when travel demand rebounds.
College athletic programs are also feeling the effects of the pandemic. Yesterday, the University of Texas announced layoffs and other financial cuts they deemed necessary to the overall financial health of the athletic department. The cuts, totaling $13 million, call for 35 staff members to be laid off and another 35 vacant positions to be permanently eliminated. Also, 26 coaches and administrators will take voluntary pay cuts
Texas Tech also announced cuts totaling $11 million, including the elimination of 40 permanent positions. Texas A&M previously announced cuts of $16 million to its athletic department.
Finally, here’ wishing everyone a very safe and good Labor Day weekend!!