The 14-day average for the COVID-19 testing positivity rate in Harris County has hit its lowest point since May 25, according to new data from the Harris County Public Health Department released over the Sept. 26-27 weekend. (Community Impact staff)
The positivity rate—the percentage of people tested for the coronavirus who receive positive results—has been falling since early July, when the 14-day average was in the low 20% range. The rolling average hit 6.9% as of Sept. 19, the most recent available data, according to HCPH.
Public health officials said the want to see the positivity rate stay below 5% for two consecutive weeks as one of several metrics that would show community control of the virus. Although the steady decline has been ongoing since early July, it has slowed in recent weeks. The rate dropped from 15.5% to 8.3% over the month of August and from 8.3% to 6.9% so far in September.
Meanwhile, another 821 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County over the Sept. 26-27 weekend, along with 36 deaths caused by the coronavirus. The total number of cases now stands at 141,353, with 17,550 active cases. The death toll now stands at 1,814.
Outside of Sept. 21, when 14,000 new cases were confirmed as a testing backlog was cleared, the number of new cases per day in Harris County has been below 900 for 12 straight days.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County hospitals saw slight decreases over the past week, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The number of patients in general wards hit 332 on Sept. 27, down from 345 on Sept. 27. The number of patients in intensive care units hit 170 on Sept. 27, which is the same patient count reported on Sept. 20.