COVID-19 coverage graphic

Smith County COVID-19 cases rose by 53 on Thursday for a current count of 2,058, while one recovery was recorded for the first time this week.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District announced there are 1,534 active cases, 512 recoveries and 12 deaths in Smith County. Of the 2,058 confirmed cases in Smith County, about 82% are under the age of 60, and roughly 3% are within the 80 and over range.

On the same day, the number of East Texas patients being treated for the virus at Tyler hospitals also hit a new record high of 156, which is up by five since Wednesday, NET Health said. Thursday was the fourth day in a row for a record number of COVID-19 patients in Tyler hospitals.

To the east, Gregg County recorded its 17th death, a Longview man in his 30s, on Thursday, Gregg County Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne said.

This latest death was the youngest person to die in Gregg County. He also had diabetes, Browne said.

Browne said the previous virus-related deaths were over 60 with the youngest being 62.

“It shows no matter what age you could be a victim of it,” Browne said. “His death shows a middle-aged man can die from it.”

The county also added 30 new virus cases. The county’s total stands at 1,207 cumulative cases, including 238 recoveries and 17 deaths. Recoveries remained the same, according to the Gregg County Health Department.

Hospitalizations in Gregg County also hit a record high of 92 as of Thursday, Browne said. He encouraged people to wear a mask when near other people.

NET Health said none of the COVID-19 positive cases in its seven-county area include positive antibody tests from local mobile testing sites, hospitals or community clinics since the virus reached East Texas in early March. NET Health’s coverage area includes Smith, Gregg, Henderson, Anderson, Wood, Rains and Van Zandt counties.

Other counties

Henderson County added 25 new COVID-19 cases for a cumulative count of 490, including 130 recoveries and seven deaths. The county’s virus death toll includes two Athens residents, two Chandler residents and one person each from Malakoff, Mabank and Trinidad, according to NET Health.

Van Zandt County cases rose by five on Thursday for a total of 286, which includes 77 recoveries and four deaths. The county’s death count is made up of a Canton resident, Grand Saline resident, Edgewood resident and a Murchison woman, NET Health data shows.

Wood County jumped by 20 for a total of 225 cases, which includes 126 recoveries and six deaths. Five Winnsboro residents and one person from Mineola have died due to COVID-19, NET Health reported.

Rains County added three cases for cumulative number of 35, including 10 recoveries and the death of a 76-year-old man from Point.

Cases in Anderson County rose by 23 for a new cumulative number of 384, including 138 recoveries and the deaths of two Palestine men. These numbers do not reflect inmates at the prisons in Tennessee Colony.

In Cherokee County, cases rose by 12 for a total of 606, while recoveries increased by 21 for cumulative count of 390, according to the Cherokee County Public Health Department. This count also includes the deaths of a Rusk resident and a Wells resident.

Smith County statistics

The Smith County joint information center typically updates recovery numbers on Tuesdays and Fridays. The center is made up of agencies, including the city of Tyler, Smith County, NET Health and Tyler ISD.

NET Health provides updates on remaining weekdays.

The 12 COVID-19 related deaths in Smith County are an 88-year-old Whitehouse woman, 74-year-old Tyler man, 66-year-old Lindale woman, 68-year-old Lindale woman, 77-year-old Tyler man, 91-year-old Hideaway man, 56 year-old Troup man, a 78-year-old Tyler man, a 68-year-old Tyler man, 87-year-old Tyler woman, 95-year-old Tyler man and 74-year-old Tyler man.

Of the 2,058 cases, 1,621 are in Tyler, 81 in Flint, 93 in Whitehouse, 132 in Lindale, 31 in Troup, 33 in Bullard, three in Overton, 19 in Arp, 16 in Winona, five in Kilgore, 18 in Hideaway, two in Gladewater and four in Mineola.

Of the total cases, 2,008 are a result of community spread and 50 are travel-related.

Here is the age breakdown:

0-20, 409 cases

21-40, 774 cases

41-59, 513 cases

60-79, 302 cases

80 and over, 60 cases

Regarding gender, 963 are men and 1,095 are women.

Through July 22, the Texas Department of State Health Services reports 13,152 total tests were performed on people from Smith County.

Smith County Jail

The Smith County COVID-19 death count does not include the death of Raul Rodriguez, 61, a Smith County Jail inmate who tested positive for the virus and died in mid-May, according to Rodriguez’s family.

At the time of his death, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said the Texas Rangers would conduct an investigation, which is standard protocol for an inmate death. The Smith County Jail reported one COVID-related death to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards that day.

According to the TCJS, there are five inmates and 12 detention officers from the Smith County Jail who have an active case of COVID-19 as of Thursday.

Inmates are not included in regular Smith County COVID-19 counts, but jailers are if they live in the county. TCJS numbers do not include inmates or officers who may have recovered.


I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.

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