Harris County’s coronavirus threat level has been set at “severe” since last June. If the 14-day average of daily new cases falls below 400, it would check another major box needed to lower the threat level. (Community Impact staff)
As of May 5, the 14-day average for daily new cases was estimated at 437, still higher than the target of 400 that would be required to lower the threat level from “severe” to “significant.” However, a drop in daily new cases over the first week of May has the county trending in the right direction.
The seven-day average for daily new coronavirus cases in Harris County fell 41.3% between April 28 and May 5, dropping from 579 to around 340 over that time, according to data from the Harris County Public Health Department.
Meanwhile, the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Harris County fell to 9,023 on May 5. Active cases have not been recorded at below 9,000 at any point since last June, according to county records.
The number of patients with COVID-19 in Harris County hospitals also continues to fall. A total of 538 patients had COVID-19 in the general wards across the county as of May 6, down from 588 on April 29, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.
COVID-19 patient totals in intensive care units rose from 191 to 200 over that time, but the percentage of ICU patients with COVID-19 remained below the county’s target threshold for what constitutes a severe threat. In order to lower the coronavirus threat level, officials say the 14-day average for coronavirus ICU capacity should be below 15%, meaning fewer than 15% of ICU patients should be testing positive for COVID-19. As of May 5, that figure was measured at 13.1%.
After several days of increases, the 14-day average for testing positivity in Harris County began to fall again throughout the final days of April. The 14-day average was measured at 9.7% as of the most recent available data from April 28.
The testing positivity average is down from 10.3% on April 21, but still higher than the county’s goal of staying below 5%.
As of May 6, 1.27 million Harris County residents have been fully vaccinated, up from the total of 1.14 million recorded on April 28, according to state data. Roughly 34% of people ages 16 and older have now been fully vaccinated in Harris County.