Texas has been honored to have COVID-19 new case record-setting days, sometimes in a row. One might believe that everyone testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus was going to die. That is the impression many have.
What is reality? According to https://texas2036.shinyapps.io/covid_tracker/, Texas has over 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the third-highest in the United States. A bit under 150,000 cases are still active – the 6th highest in the United States. Texas does have the number 1 ranking in the United States for COVID-19 recoveries – nearly a quarter of a million Texans have recovered to date.
However, the death rate is 1.6%, the 40th highest in the United States. Texas is the third highest in the number of new cases and barely making a dent in the death statistics. The middle of July saw the highest number of deaths in Texas – 181. There has been a very steep decline since. The past six days the daily death numbers have been below 100/day. Three days ago, twelve people were reported as dead with or of COVID-19.
Around the middle of July, Texas had its highest daily record-setting days for new COVID-19 confirmed cases – just under 11,000 that day. Since then, the number of new COVID-19 cases has been in decline with the lowest day being the 27th of July with under 5,000 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases has declined from over 9,500 to under 8,000 in recent days.
Texas measures the Texas Effective Reproduction Rate for infections, Rt, which relates to how many people can be infected. When Rt goes below 1.0, the number of infections slow down. One infected person infects less than one additional person. Three days ago, Rt went below 1.0.
Texas is no different than any other state with mortality rates for elderly with pre-existing health conditions. Slightly over one-third of COVID-19 deaths are 80+ years of age. About 12.5% of anyone in their 70s has lost their lives to COVID-19.
It is slightly lower for those in their 50s and 60s. 5.5% of people in their 40s and 2% of those in their 30s have lost their lives to this disease. COVID-19 has claimed less than 1% for anyone below 29 years of age. Teen deaths average around 0.1% and the death rate for children is at 0.03%.
Testing has continued at a rapid rate. The middle of July saw a seven-day rolling average of over 17% infection rate – the number of people confirmed as having COVID-19 compared to all tested. Since then, the seven-day rolling average has declined to 12%.
It is interesting to note that the influenza rates have mirrored the COVID-19 rates. The graphs of daily COVID-19 infections and influenza-like symptoms could be laid on top of each other without much difference.
The first week of July saw the COVID-19 daily hospitalization rate peak at around 9.5%. Approximately 6.5% of all active COVID-19 cases in Texas are currently hospitalized. The remaining active cases are in self-quarantine. The seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 hospitalizations has been trending downward for over two weeks.
Yes, massive numbers of new cases grab headlines. They are scary. But the real numbers that count – the number hospitalized daily and the mortality rates are not reported. Texas is much better off than headlines tell us – and getting better every day!
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com