GC announce 3 new COVID-19 related deaths

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
This illustration reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The county's COVID-19 situational report Tuesday brought still more bad news. Another three Grayson County residents were reported to have suffered COVID-19 related deaths.

That brings the total to 128 since the pandemic started. And that makes 11 deaths announced so far this week.

Tuesday evening, the county was reporting 86 newly diagnosed cases and 435 active cases.

On Tuesday, there were 463 people in Grayson County hospitals which was 92.79 percent of the total occupancy for those hospitals. In the 24 hours before the report was released, there were 222 emergency room visits and 57 of them were related to COVID-19. Thirteen people were admitted with COVID-19 during that same period. There were 77 Grayson County residents hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday and there were 90 people total hospitalized with COVID-19 during the same period.

A report from the Grayson County Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management, said the percentage of local hospital capacity with COVID-19 was 17.01 percent on Monday and the state website showed that the regional hospital capacity with COVID-19 was 16.6 percent. The regional rate has had been above 15 percent for seven days as of Dec. 3 which triggered tightening restrictions on the number of people allowed to be in places like restaurants and bars.

For those restrictions to be loosened again, the regional rate would have to be below 15 percent for seven consecutive days. According to the report, that rate did fall below 15 percent on Dec. 5 and 6, however, it climbed again to 15.8 on Monday breaking its streak. Now the area will have to try to dip below the 15 percent again for another seven days straight to see the lessened restrictions. 

A letter to the county from the Commissioner of Texas Department of State Health Services said those increased rates meant the following must happen as of December 5: "all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries in all counties in Trauma Service Area E are required to return to maximum 50 percent occupancy levels, except in any county that separately qualifies for the greater occupancy levels because it has minimal cases of COVID-19 under the Department of State Health Services attestation process."

The letter noted that Grayson County is in Trauma Service Area E which also includes Collin, Cooke,Dallas,Denton, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise.

The letter also stated "all licensed hospitals in the Trauma Service Area are required to discontinue elective surgeries as set forth in Executive Order GA-31. The Health and Human Services Commission, the agency responsible for regulating hospitals in Texas, is separately providing notice directly to affected hospitals notifying them of the requirement to discontinue elective surgeries located in Trauma Service Area E."

Coronavirus

Free COVID-19 testing remains available at the Midway Mall back parking lot Monday through Saturday. For more information and to schedule a test, go to GoGetTested.com.

As of Tuesday, the majority of the active cases were in Sherman and Denison. Sherman had 180 cases and Denison had 93.Pottsboro had 30 cases. Whitesboro had 29 cases. Howe had 26 cases. Bells had 17 cases. Whitewright had 12 cases and Van Alstyne had 13. Gunter had 10 cases and Collinsville had eight. Tioga had six and Sadler had three cases. Tom Bean had five cases and Knollwood had two. Gordonville had one case.

Since the pandemic began, 5,031 Grayson County residents have suffered from the illness. There have been 47,203 tests given in the county and 4,468 people have recovered from the illness.