Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Grayson County residents continued its upward trend on Thursday. Information from the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management said Wednesday there were 16 such people hospitalized in the county, and on Thursday, that number rose to 18.


Out of 219 emergency room visits in the county in the 24-hours before the report was issued Thursday, there were 32 COVID-19 suspected visits. There were six COVID-19 related admissions, but that number includes non county residents.


On Thursday morning, there were 35 people in Grayson County hospitals with COVID-19 related illness. That number also includes non-county residents.


Hospitals in the county had four negative pressure beds available on Thursday evening and two adult ICU beds available. Local hospitals were running at occupancy rates that ranged from 68-97.14 percent overall and at 19-27.94 percent for COVID-19.


In addition, Grayson County announced 14 new test-confirmed cases of the virus in county residents Thursday evening. That brings the number of people currently confirmed to have the illness to 94. Forty-two of those individuals isolated at home and 34 are isolated at local care homes.


Thirteen people were marked as newly recovered on the report.


The daily rate of positive COVID-19 tests in the county continued its downward trend on Thursday. It was 10.67 on Wednesday and 10.65 on Thursday. The county’s seven-day average of positive tests dropped from 10.73 percent on Wednesday to 19.72 percent on Thursday.


So far, 13,471 county residents have been tested for the virus and 1,435 have had tests confirmed as positive. There have been 21 COVID-19 related deaths in Grayson County residents since the pandemic began.


Fifty-one tests are pending, and there have been more than 1,300 county residents recover from the illness.


Six nursing homes in the county that are currently impacted by the virus. They include Focused Care of Sherman, Homestead of Sherman, Crawford Street Place in Denison, Texoma Healthcare in Sherman, Brookdale Willows in Sherman and The Terrace in Denison.


In addition to the 34 people in those facilities that have the virus, there are 81 people who are being quarantined after close contact to an infected person. A report from the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management said "staffing shortages at one facility are critical," but it did not say which facility is facing that situation.


In addition, the number of students or staff in Grayson County who have been diagnosed the illness continued an upward climb. The number of students or staff isolated with the virus went from five to six on Thursday. There are currently 55 students or staff being quarantined in the county.


In the report released by the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management, "in person" is defined as a student or staff member who participates in classes on-campus or in-person extracurricular practices or events, and "virtual students" are defined as students who participate in classes online and has no in-person contact on the campus.


Those schools with "in person" students or employees with the virus include, Bells Elementary, Collinsville High, Denison High School and Scott Middle School in Denison, Pottsboro Elementary, Pottsboro Middle School, Pottsboro High School, S&S High School, Piner Middle School in Sherman, Van Alstyne High School, Whitesboro High School, Whitewright Elementary and Whitewright High School.


Sory Elementary in Sherman and Sherman High School have "virtual students" or those who do not come to campus, who have be diagnosed either with the virus or who are quarantined due to the virus.


The county has also released statistics showing the cities where the people who have tested positive recently live. The following cities in the county currently have active cases, Bells, 1 (down three from Wednesday);Collinsville, 1; Denison,26 which is up six from Wednesday) Gordonville, 1; Howe, 2 (up one from Wednesday); Pottsboro, 3 (down three from Wednesday); Sherman, 54 (up three from Wednesday) ; Van Alstyne 1 (down one from Wednesday); Whitesboro, 4 (up one from Wednesday) and Whitewright,1.


A statement from the GCHD said they are identifying and contacting individuals who may have been exposed. Any individuals identified as having close contact and having been exposed will be contacted directly by the GCHD.


The GCHD reminds people that if that they have traveled to an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 or have had contact with someone who has OVID-19 and have developed fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath within 14 days of that travel, they should call their healthcare provider. To prevent potential spread, they should alert their provider before arriving to the provider’s office or emergency department.


For more coronavirus related news, visit http://www.HeraldDemocrat.com/coronavirus.