Falls County COVID-19 numbers continue to climb
Total positive coronavirus cases in Falls County have climbed faster in the past three weeks than they have during the entire pandemic. Since May 29, total numbers have gone up by more than 265 percent though for the three weeks prior numbers had been stagnant, at six total cases.
As of June 22, Falls County has a total of 23 cases, with an estimated six cases recovered, according to the DSHS COVID-19 dashboard.
According to the site, estimates are based on several assumptions related to hospitalization rates and recovery times, which were informed by data available to date.
“These assumptions are subject to change as we learn more about COVID-19,” the website states. “The estimated number does not include data from any cases reported prior to March 24, 2020.”
Falls County only had one case as of March 24, therefore the original case seems to be missing from the estimated numbers.
According to a press release from Falls County on June 15, the county only receives confirmation of recovered cases if the infected individual gets retested.
“Retesting is not mandatory,” it reads.
DSHS also states that estimated active and recovered numbers lag one day behind the rest of the data on the site, therefore these are numbers from June 18, versus today, June 19.
The State of Texas beat it’s own record of the number of cases diagnosed in one not only on Wednesday, June 17, but also on June 18 and then again on June 20. Thursday saw a total of 3,516 new COVID cases, beating Wednesday’s numbers by nearly 400 cases. Sunday’s numbers skyrocketed even higher, with a total of 4,440 new cases. Numbers are up by about 55 percent since May 29.
It’s been noted by a number of experts in the field that a lack of widely available testing around the country has led to skewed case numbers, where the number of cases diagnosed is nowhere near the full amount of individuals who have contracted the disease.
In Falls County, the testing numbers are slowly increasing, at a total 757 tests administered by June 20. This is an increase of about 280 percent since May 29.
Texas testing numbers have only gone up by about 62 percent since that date, but positive cases have increased by nearly 82 percent. There have been a total of 111,601 cases identified, which is 6.6 percent of the 1,690,124 tests administered. The state exceeded 100,000 cases on June 19.
The surrounding counties are following the same positive trends, though the ratios by which Falls County has increased are relatively higher than the others. Surprisingly, Bell County has increased the least, with a growth of only 58 percent since May 29, despite having the largest population among the six counties. There were 822 cases recorded as of June 21.
Limestone County is the next lowest, with an increase of 70 percent (41 cases,) while Milam County has gone up by nearly 103 percent (57 cases.) Both McLennan and Robertson Counties have seen an increase of more than 150 percent. McLennan has gone up by 158 percent, totalling out at 303 cases. Robertson County has a total of 27 cases, an increase of 237 percent.
Even though the number in Falls County is still significantly lower than those in the surrounding Counties, citizens are strongly encouraged to continue following social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)
Recommendations include keeping six feet apart while in public, wearing a facial covering and gloves, as well as continuous hand-washing. There are various ways the virus can be spread.
“Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through objects and surfaces, like doorknobs, countertops, keyboards, toys, etc,” the CDC website states. “Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.”
For more information on how to prevent coronavirus, as well as more information on symptoms, testing, and what to do if you are sick, go to coronavirus.gov or cdc.org.