First Responder Vaccinations

Christus Good Shepherd nurse extern Kaitlyn Dykes prepares a COVID-19 vaccine while vaccinating local first responders earlier this year. Smith County’s seven-day rolling average has dropped by more than 15% since Wednesday, according to the most recent data released by the Northeast Public Health District.

For the first time since early-to-mid June, all seven counties covered in the Northeast Texas Public Health District are simultaneously reflecting minimal community spread levels of COVID-19.

On Nov. 1, four counties were seeing moderate levels of the virus, while Gregg and Anderson counties were in minimal spread. Though some counties vacillated between minimal and moderate spreads, Monday’s latest report from NET Health shows Smith County has reached minimal COVID-19 spread for the first time since early-to-mid June.

Smith County’s minimal spread level dropped more than 10% since Thursday’s NET Health report, continuing a downward trend. Of the seven counties, Smith’s minimal spread level is on the higher end at 9.08, next only to Van Zandt’s 9.34 level. Rains is seeing the lowest minimal spread level of 3.42.


The minimal community spread window consists of a rate of between zero and 10 and indicates evidence of isolated cases or limited community transmission, that cases are underway and that there is no evidence of exposure in large, congregate settings.

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.

Just over one month ago in the week ending Sept. 23, each county had levels of community spread that were substantial — or 35 or more new cases per week adjusted for population.

Smith County saw 68 new total cases in Monday’s data, with 32 new confirmed cases and 36 new probable cases. There are now 594 total active cases within the county, as opposed to the 629 total active cases reported Monday in Smith County. At the beginning of the month, there were over 1,000 total active cases within the county.

Last week, Smith County’s number of total new COVID-19 cases decreased by nearly 77% within a month. Throughout October, there were 1,913 new COVID-19 cases reported within the county compared to September, in which new cases totaled 8,351, according to NET Health data. There have been 36,952 COVID-19 cases in the county since the pandemic began.

According to NET Health, there were 69 East Texans being treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals on Monday. The last time Smith County saw a similarly low local hospitalization rate was in August. Thursday’s data is 82% lower than the high hospitalization rate of 389, which was reached two months ago in Tyler.

No Smith County jail inmates had an active diagnosis of COVID-19, according to NET Health. One inmate has died due to COVID-19.

Data gathered in Monday’s report represents the past 96 hours, from noon Thursday to noon Monday.

On Thursday, there were 106 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G, approximately 20 fewer than there were on Thursday. Of COVID patients hospitalized, 48 of those are in ICUs and 35 patients are on ventilators. In the first half of September, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.

As of Nov. 4, children 5 to 11 years of age are included in vaccination numbers and rates.

In Smith County, 51.49% of people age 5 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 45.54% of people age 5 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

State data shows 83.80% of people 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose on Monday, while 77.58% of that population had been fully vaccinated.

Other Counties

Gregg County had 192 confirmed active cases and 85 probable active cases Thursday. Confirmed recoveries were at 8,889, while there were 10,025 probable recoveries, according to NET Health.

Henderson County had 99 confirmed active cases and 66 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 6,219, and there were 3,323 probable recoveries in the county, NET Health said.

Van Zandt County had 96 confirmed active cases and 78 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 4,583, and 3,320 people had likely recovered in Van Zandt County, NET Health reported.

Anderson County had 33 confirmed active cases and 53 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 2,528, and probable recoveries were at 2,920, the health district reported.

Wood County had 68 confirmed active cases and 50 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries in Wood County were at 3,433 with 2,910 probable recoveries, NET Health said.

Rains County had 11 confirmed active and 8 probable active diagnoses, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 719 with 770 probable recoveries, according to NET Health.


Recent Stories You Might Have Missed

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