As of Thursday, Smith County is now the only county covered by the Northeast Texas Public Health District that has substantial levels of COVID-19 community spread.

The most recent report covering the seven-county district shows Rains, Wood and Van Zandt counties have joined Gregg, Henderson and Anderson counties with "moderate" spread levels.

As of Thursday, Smith County’s community spread levels of the virus is at 40.38, which is a 13% decreasefrom Monday’s report which reflected spread levels in the county at 46.46.

Substantial community spread represents “large-scale, uncontrolled community transmission,” according to NET Health, and takes effect when the county sees 35 or more new COVID-19 cases per day.

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.

Smith County saw 191 new total cases Thursday in Smith County, with 132 new confirmed cases and 59 new probable cases. There are now 3,051 total active cases within the county.

According to NET Health, there were 177 East Texans being treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals on Thursday. The last time Smith County saw a similarly low local hospitalization rate was in August. Thursday’s data is 54% lower than the high of 389, which was reached in early September.

One Smith County Jail inmate 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 48 hours, from noon Monday to noon Thursday.

On Thursday, there were 350 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G, approximately 29 fewer than there were on Monday. Of COVID patients hospitalized, 142 of those are in ICUs and 127 patients are on ventilators. Earlier in September, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.

In Smith County, 55.68% of people 12 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 48.73% of people 12 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

State data shows 82.63% of people age 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose on Thursday, while 76.26% of that population had been fully vaccinated.

Other counties

Gregg County had 486 confirmed and 667 probable active cases Thursday. Confirmed recoveries were at 8,357, while there were 9,326 probable recoveries, according to NET Health.

Henderson County had 364 confirmed active cases and 210 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 5,817, and there were 3,084 probable recoveries in the county, NET Health said.

Van Zandt County had 408 confirmed active cases and 352 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 4,129, and 2,870 people had likely recovered in Van Zandt County, NET Health reported.

Anderson County had 100 confirmed active cases and 271 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 2,401, and probable recoveries were at 2,611, the health district reported.

Wood County had 295 confirmed active cases and 265 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries in Wood County were at 3,106, and there were 2,607 probable recoveries, NET Health said.

Rains County had 68 confirmed active and 78 probable active diagnoses, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 651, and there were 684 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