The number of Grayson County residents who have died COVID-19 related deaths rose by six Tuesday evening. In the daily updates released by the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management, county deaths rose from 24 to 30 over the weekend.

Unlike previous COVID-19 related deaths in the county, the Grayson County Health Department did not issue an individual statement providing demographic information about those deaths. Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez said for some time now, there has been a difference between the death numbers reported by the state and by the county due to lag in reporting times.

"They have 10 days to file death certificates, and then it takes a while for those items to be entered into the system," Ortez said Wednesday morning. She has yet to receive the demographic information about those deaths.

Grayson County Office of Emergency Management Director Sarah Somers confirmed that the number 30 came from the state reported statistics for Grayson County.

"They (the state) get a lot of things first. That’s another reason why its a good idea to go with one reporting entity," Somers said.

On Tuesday evening, the GCOEM said the county had 144 active cases of COVID-19 in Grayson County residents. That is up three from the 141 cases the county reported on Saturday.

Per the report, the county’s seven-day-positive rate for COVID-19 tests on Tuesday was 10.7 which was down from the 10.97 rate that was released on Saturday. There were no COVID-19 reports from the county on Sunday or Monday due to the Labor Day holiday.

The number of Grayson County residents in the hospital withCOVID-19 continued its rise and was listed as 43 in the report. That number was 31 on Saturday.

The daily COVID-19 report issued by the county no longer breaks the cases down by the city where the cases reside, age group, or gender. This change was made, because a lot of that information was either available already on a state website or not considered as necessary as it had been previously, county officials said.

For instance, Somers said the county will no longer be releasing the number of cases in each city. That information was provided while local communities were trying to decide about opening schools. The schools are already open now, and the schools are required to report information about COVID-19 cases directly to the state.

"The Texas Departments of State Health Services (DSHS) will compile this information (about the schools) weekly and make it available to the public on the DSHS COVID Dashboard beginning on or before September 18," the report said.

The changes in the county's daily reports are aimed at allowing county staff to spend less time on statistical reporting for COVID-19 and more time on the jobs that they have had to spend less time on while the county responded to the pandemic. Somers said the county will continue to respond to the pandemic but is trying to make the best use of county resources by duplicating actions taken by the state.

The county's daily report also no longer breaks down which local long term care facilities have active COVID-19 cases in their staff or patients. However, the situation report did say that on August 25, the state was reporting that there were 33 patients at local long term care facilities with COVID-19 and 14 staff members with the illness on the same date.

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