Saint Francis Covid cases

Dr. Ryan Parker cares for a patient in Saint Francis Hospital’s Emergency Department on Wednesday.

In one week, the rate of community spread of COVID-19 in Smith County has decreased by more than 37%, the Northeast Texas Public Health District reported Thursday.

While the rate of spread remains classified as “substantial,” the drop has been significant since last Thursday’s report: from 137.48 to 86.17. In total, 934 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday in Smith County, with 486 new confirmed cases and 448 new probable cases. There are now 7,341 total active cases within the county.

The level of community spread is determined by taking the average number of all COVID-19 positive cases from the previous seven days. That number is then divided by the population of the county and multiplied by 100,000.

According to NET Health, there were 356 East Texans being treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals on Thursday, which is about 8 percent lower than the high of 389, which was set earlier this month just after Labor Day weekend.

About 7 Smith County Jail inmates on Thursday had an active diagnosis of COVID-19, according to NET Health. One inmate has died due to COVID-19.

Data gathered in Thursday’s report represents the past 72 hours, from noon Monday to noon Thursday.

All seven counties covered by NET Health on Thursday again had “substantial” levels of community spread. Substantial community spread represents “large-scale, uncontrolled community transmission,” according to NET Health.

On Thursday, the latest day for which data was available, there were 723 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G with 264 of those in ICUs. Earlier this month, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations in recent weeks have surpassed a peak in January when the single-day number of patients peaked at 684 on Jan. 6.

In Smith County, 54.29% of people 12 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 46.53% of people 12 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

State data shows 81.94% of people age 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose on Thursday, while 75.41% of that population had been fully vaccinated.

Other counties

Gregg County had 1,130 confirmed and 2,704 probable active cases Thursday. Confirmed recoveries were at 7,347, while there were 6,875 probable recoveries, according to NET Health.

Henderson County had 988 confirmed active cases and 714 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 4,931, and there were 2,448 probable recoveries in the county, NET Health said.

Van Zandt County had 782 confirmed active cases and 732 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 3,488, and 2,263 people had likely recovered in Van Zandt County, NET Health reported.

Anderson County had 221 confirmed active cases and 900 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 2,197, and probable recoveries were at 1,827, the health district reported.

Wood County had 659 confirmed active cases and 760 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries in Wood County were at 2,536, and there were 1,932 probable recoveries, NET Health said.

Rains County had 5 confirmed active and 37 probable active diagnoses, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 534, and there were 508 probable recoveries, according to NET Health.


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Bilingual Multimedia Journalist

I cover COVID-19 and health in the East Texas area for Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Longview News-Journal and Tyler Paper Español. Stephen F. Austin State University alumna. For story ideas, email me at