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COVID-19: Abilene sets inpatient record Tuesday with 134; deaths reach 198



ABILENE, TX – The Abilene Taylor County Public Health District reported 134 COVID-19 inpatients.

The health district also reported  four deaths, 87 new cases and 145 recoveries.

The latest deaths bring the county’s total linked to COVID-19 to 198 – 81 reported in December. The average age of the deceased is 75.

Three of the deceased had preexisting health conditions:  a man in his 60s and two men in their 80s. The medical predisposition of the fourth man in his 70s is unknown, officials said.

The 87 new cases are based on 50 polymerase chain reaction tests and 37 antigen tests.

Active cases total 2,141 (914 PCR tests and 1,227 antigen tests).

Hendrick Health System on Monday reported the COVID-19 inpatients number was 18.73% of total hospital beds in Abilene’s trauma service area.

Hendrick also reported no ICU beds were available, and that 88 employees were in quarantine, which is one fewer than Sunday.

More hospitalizations in Texas

Statewide coronavirus hospitalizations reached 11,351 on Monday, surpassing Texas’ previous record of 10,893 COVID-19 patients July 22.

The recent uptick isn’t related to transmissions during family Christmas gatherings, as coronavirus symptoms typically appear between two and 14 days after exposure and hospitalizations lag even further.

State health officials in November urged Texans to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small. Still, the Texas Department of State Health Services attributed recent records for single-day COVID-19 cases to holiday gatherings.

The state health agency also reported 12,841 new cases Monday, following a single-day high of 19,185 new cases two days before Christmas. The number of reported new cases likely declined over the weekend because fewer counties report data on weekends and holidays.

“We’ve continued to see increasing numbers of new cases, which inevitably leads to more hospitalizations,” Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said Monday. “As long as people continue to gather with people outside their household without taking precautions, increasing the chances the virus will spread, that pattern will likely continue.”

Coronavirus by the numbers

Abilene/Taylor County (updated Tuesday): Total positive PCR cases, 4,909; active PCR cases, 914; total antigen probable cases, 6,010; total antigen active cases, 1,227; total PCR recoveries, 3,895; total antigen recoveries, 4,685; Total deaths, 198; Current hospitalizations at Abilene facilities (as reported by the hospital Monday), 134.

Texas (updated Tuesday): Total cases, 1,518,499; New cases, 26,990; Active cases (estimated), 287,189; Hospitalized, 11,775; Fatalities, 26,762; New fatalities, 241; Total tests, 15,419,272; Recovered (estimated), 1,387,358.

Big Country counties with reported confirmed cases (based on PCR tests as tracked by the state): Howard, 2,500; Erath, 2,080; Scurry, 1,942; Jones, 1,822; Brown, 1,247; Nolan, 1,163; Comanche, 806; Eastland, 575; Runnels, 560; Mitchell, 471; Stephens, 364; Callahan, 378; Coleman, 265; Coke, 220; Fisher, 216; Haskell, 145; Knox, 133; Shackelford, 77; Stonewall, 39; Throckmorton, 33; Kent, 29.

Select West Texas counties: Lubbock, 41,205; Potter (Amarillo), 14,948; Randall (Canyon), 13,589; Midland, 11,195; Wichita (Wichita Falls), 10,292; Ector (Odessa), 6,363; Hale (Plainview), 4,974; Tom Green (San Angelo), 3,921; Moore, 1,814.

SELECT PRISONS (Monday update)

Daniel (Snyder): Staff cases – active, 5, recovered, 42; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 232, medical isolation, 0.

Havins (Brownwood): Staff cases – active, 9, recovered, 18; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 49, medical isolation, 0.

Middleton (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 25, recovered, 46; Inmate cases – active, 43, recovered, 245, medical isolation, 43.

Robertson (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 42, recovered, 169; Inmate cases – active, 11, recovered, 1,112, medical isolation, 12.

Sayle (Breckenridge): Staff cases – active, 12, recovered, 30; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 119, medical isolation, 0.

Wallace (Colorado City): Staff cases – active, 10, recovered, 3; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 538, medical isolation, 0.

Brown County reports 7 deaths, 87 new cases

BROWNWOOD – Brown County health officials Monday reported seven deaths connected to COVID-19, 87 new cases and 68 recoveries.

The data covers four days, Dec. 24-28.

Five of the deceased were nursing home residents: a man in his 70s, a woman in her 80s, a man in his 90s and two women in their 90s. The other deceased are two men in their 80s.

The county has linked 68 deaths to COVID-19. The average age of the deceased is 78.

There are 16 COVID-19 inpatients at the Brownwood hospital.

The current totals for COVID-19 testing in Brown County as of Monday are:

  • Total positive: 2,630
  • Total negative: 6,577
  • Cases confirmed by PCR test: 1,247
  • Cases confirmed by antigen test: 1,383
  • Deaths: 68
  • Recovered: 2,091
  • Scurry County adds 83 cases

SNYDER – Scurry County health officials reported 83 new cases of COVID-19 since Dec. 23.

On Monday, 51 cases were reported, followed by another 32 on Tuesday.

In those two days, an additional 62 people have recovered from the coronavirus, for a total of 1,601.

Active cases number 109, and the number of county deaths linked to COVID-19 stands at 28.

United, Market Street pharmacies offer vaccine for healthcare providers

The United Family of supermarkets began the process of administering vaccines at several of its pharmacies to healthcare workers in the communities it serves, according to a news release.

United Supermarkets and Market Street stores operate in Abilene. Other banners are Albertsons Market and Amigos.

During the first phase of the vaccine rollout under Centers for Disease Control guidelines, each site will work with its community to immunize only healthcare providers. An appointment will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the release said.

Healthcare facilities also can request a vaccine clinic for eligible employees by contacting a local United pharmacy. Patients will have no out-of-pocket costs to get the vaccine, the release said.