Active COVID-19 cases in Smith County have decreased for the first time in 2022, according to public health data.
Smith County is also seeing a downward trend in community transmission levels and hospitalizations.
Active cases of the virus in Smith County have decreased, a first this year so far, by nearly 3% since Thursday. NET Health’s report shows active cases within the county are at 13,887 compared to 14,309 reported Monday.
There have also been 401 new COVID-19 cases reported in the county since Monday.
Of new cases reported Monday, 224 are confirmed and 177 are probable. NET Health defines probable cases as those that are attributed to patients who have received positive antigen tests, until the person has been administered a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. If a person’s PCR laboratory result is positive, that becomes a confirmed case.
Smith County’s transmission levels began shifting toward a downward slope last week and as of Monday, the level has decreased by more than 16% since Thursday, according to the latest COVID-19 data from the Northeast Texas Public Health District.
The county’s community transmission level on Monday is now 71.54, according to NET Health, compared to Thursday’s report of 85.19.
Previously the county with the highest level, Smith County now has the second-highest rate of community spread levels among counties covered by NET Health. Anderson County has the highest spread as of Monday at 86.85 and Rains County has the lowest, at 36.53.
All seven counties remain in substantial spread levels, meaning the seven-day rolling rate of infection is more than 35 cases a day. Substantial spread levels indicate a large-scale, uncontrolled community transmission in congregate settings.
Additionally, Tyler’s COVID hospitalizations have declined to 200 after being in the 300-range for nearly a week.
The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G, which includes Tyler and Longview, is declining as well. On Monday, 375 patients were hospitalized in the region, a decrease of 78 since Thursday’s report. Hospitalizations include 104 patients in ICUs and 77 patients on ventilators. In September 2021, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.
A total of 11,244 cases were reported in the county throughout January. On Jan. 24, Smith County surpassed a pandemic high of new COVID-19 cases in a single month since NET Health began reporting data in September 2020. The previous pandemic high of new virus cases was September 2021, when the county saw a total of 8,351 new cases, according to NET Health. January’s new COVID cases in the county topped the previous record by 2,893 new cases.
So far in February, the county has seen 3,453 new cases. Comparatively, there were 1,382 new cases reported in December and 504 new cases in November, according to NET Health.
As of Monday in Smith County approximately 55.32% of people aged 5 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 48.80% of people aged 5 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state. State data shows 85.92% of people 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose as of Monday, while 79.42% of that population had been fully vaccinated. As of Nov. 4, children 5 to 11 years of age are included in vaccination numbers and rates.
At the Smith County Jail as of Monday, no inmates had an active diagnosis of COVID-19, and one inmate has died due to COVID-19, according to NET Health. It was recently announced the Smith County Jail’s in-person visitation will remain canceled until March 3.
There have been 53,302 total COVID-19 cases in Smith County since the pandemic began and 38,972 total recoveries, according to NET Health.
Gregg County had 188 new cases — 87 confirmed, 101 probable — reported since Thursday. There were 4,872 total active cases within the county.
Henderson County had 140 new cases — 70 confirmed, 70 probable — reported since Thursday. There were 2,555 total active cases within the county.
Van Zandt County had 66 new cases — 47 confirmed, 19 probable — reported since Thursday. There were 2,043 total active cases within the county.
Rains County had 15 new cases — 11 confirmed, four probable — reported since Thursday and there were 354 total active cases within the county.
Wood County had 88 new cases — 46 confirmed, 42 probable — reported since Thursday. There were 1,690 total active cases within the county.
Anderson County had 113 new cases — 44 confirmed, 69 probable — reported since Thursday. There were 1,276 total active cases within the county.
Total recoveries and total active cases include probable and confirmed data. Data gathered in Monday’s report represents data from noon Thursday to noon Monday.