COVID-19 coverage graphic

COVID-19 recoveries in Smith County soared by 134 on Wednesday, making the county’s active case count move down to 1,591. Meanwhile on the same day, both Gregg and Wood counties reported new deaths related to the virus.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District said 29 new cases were also recorded for a cumulative count of 2,251. Recoveries are at 646, while the death count remained at 14.

The number of East Texas patients in Tyler hospitals remained at 157 on Wednesday.

Within the month of July, there have been 352 recoveries, 1,597 new cases and 10 deaths in Smith County based on NET Health data.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Texas Department of State Health Services will provide free walk-up COVID-19 testing for anyone with or without COVID-19 symptoms at the Tyler Senior Center, 1915 Garden Valley Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

The tests are free and do not require advanced registration, but pre-registration can be completed at texas.curativeinc.com. Those who receive a test must have access to a cell phone because results will be returned by text message.

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

Gregg County recorded the deaths of three residents, making the total death toll reach 20, Gregg County Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne said.

All three had health complications, and had Longview addresses, Browne said.

One of them was an 85-year-old woman who died en route to an emergency room due to respiratory issues. She was later tested for COVID-19 and the test returned positive.

The other two were a 72-year-old man and a 62-year-old man who died in a hospital, Browne said.

Coronavirus cases went up by 18, while recoveries rose by two on Wednesday. The county has 1,325 cumulative cases, including 242 recoveries and the 20 deaths, Gregg County Health Administrator A.J. Harris said.

Wood County reported two new COVID-19 related deaths, two people from Mineola. The county has 276 total virus diagnoses, including 126 recoveries. The previous deaths were five Winnsboro residents and one person from Mineola, according to NET Health.

Henderson County has 542 cases, including 160 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 are at 321 with 112 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.

Rains County added two cases and three recoveries. The county has 42 diagnoses, including 13 recoveries and the death of a 76-year-old man from Point.

Cases in Anderson County are at 422 in total. There are 184 recoveries. Two Palestine men have died due to COVID-19. These numbers do not reflect inmates at the prisons in Tennessee Colony.

In Cherokee County, there are 751 cases, including 508 recoveries and two deaths, 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 14 COVID-19 related deaths in Smith County are a 63-year-old Kilgore man, a 66-year-old Tyler man, 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 2,251 cases, 1,769 are in Tyler, 91 in Flint, 104 in Whitehouse, 141 in Lindale, 35 in Troup, 34 in Bullard, three in Overton, 20 in Arp, 18 in Winona, five in Kilgore, 22 in Hideaway, two in Gladewater and five in Mineola.

Of the total cases, 2,200 are a result of community spread and 51 are travel-related.

Here is the age breakdown:

0-20, 441 cases

21-40, 825 cases

41-59, 561 cases

60-79, 351 cases

80 and over, 73 cases

Regarding gender, 1,060 are men and 1,252 are women.

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 six inmates and 15 detention officers from the Smith County Jail who have an active case of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.

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.

Reporter

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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