An ongoing drop in daily new-case counts of COVID-19 in Harris County in the first half of March slowed down in the second half of the month, according to the latest data from the Harris County Public Health Department. However, COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have continued to fall. (Community Impact staff)
The seven-day average for daily new cases in the county hit 704 on March 31, largely unchanged from where it was one week ago. Earlier in March, the seven-day average was hovering between 1,200-1,300 before it fell to the 800 range in the middle of the month. More than 1,000 new cases were confirmed on two of the past five days after the county had seen nine consecutive days with fewer than 1,000 new cases each day.
The 14-day average for testing positivity has also plateaued, according to county data. The average fell from 12% as of March 1 to 8.7% as of March 15, where it has since remained largely flat. Due to a lag in data, the most recent testing positivity data is as of March 23; data from the past week is not yet available.
Although the decline in daily new cases have slowed, the number of people with COVID-19 in Harris County hospitals has continued to fall, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. SETRAC estimated 756 people had COVID-19 in general ward beds as of March 31, while 237 people had COVID-19 in intensive care unit beds. Those totals are both down from those of one week ago, when general ward and ICU estimates were at 789 and 273, respectively. The last time SETRAC estimated ICU cases to be at or below 237 was around mid-November.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Harris County since the pandemic began is estimated at 376,871. As of March 31, there are an estimated 11,821 active cases in the county, down from 12,364 one week ago. Total confirmed COVID-19 deaths have increased by 105 over the past week and now stand at 3,676.
The number of people to have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus in Harris County now stands at 567,668, according to state estimates, and another 1.1 million people have been partially vaccinated.