COVID-19 coverage graphic

A 74-year-old Tyler man has died due to COVID-19, which is the fifth death within Smith County, according to the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

His death marks the first within the county since April. The four other deaths are a 91-year old Hideaway man, a 56 year-old Troup man, a 78-year old Tyler man and a 68 year-old Tyler man.

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.

Over the weekend, Smith County also recorded 77 new COVID-19 cases for a current active count at 549. There is a total of 848 cases, including 294 recovered patients and the five deaths, according to NET Health.

Tyler hospitals are treating 79 patients from East Texas as of Monday, which is up by 10 since Friday.

“Everyone has the responsibility to follow public health recommendations, such as physical distancing yourself from others as much as possible, wearing a cloth mask at public locations, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, and staying home if you have any symptoms of illness,” George Roberts, NET Health CEO, said.

If someone has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, symptoms may appear between two to 14 days afterward. Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, loss of appetite, sore throat, nasal congestions, runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, according to NET Health.

Smith County residents without health insurance can find a community health worker to determine their risk of exposure to COVID-19 by contacting the NET Health Center for Healthy Living at (903) 617-6404.

Since June 1, there have been 638 new coronavirus cases in Smith County based on numbers from NET Health. Through July 5, the Texas Department of State Health Services reports 9,736 tests were performed on people from Smith County.

According to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, there are seven inmates and two detention officers from the Smith County Jail who have an active case of COVID-19 as of Sunday.

One Smith County inmate died due to COVID-19, TCJS reported.

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.

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.

Of the 848 cases, 668 are in Tyler, 35 in Flint, 37 in Whitehouse, 42 in Lindale, 16 in Troup, 24 in Bullard, two in Overton, six in Arp, seven in Winona, two in Kilgore, six in Hideaway, one in Gladewater and two in rural Smith County near Mineola.

Eight-hundred and three cases are a result of community spread and 45 are travel-related.

Here is the breakdown of cases:

• 0-20, 141 cases

• 21-40, 341 cases

• 41-59, 227 cases

• 60-79, 119 cases

• 80 and over, 20 cases

Regarding gender, 409 are men and 439 are women.

Other counties

In Gregg County, there are 486 COVID-19 cases, including 14 deaths and 145 recoveries, according to the Gregg County Health Department.

Van Zandt County has 127 cases, including three deaths and 35 recoveries, NET Health reported.

Henderson County has 196 cases, including four deaths and 73 recoveries, according to NET Health.

Wood County has 107 COVID-19 cases, including the deaths of five Winnsboro residents and 62 recoveries, according to NET Health.

Anderson County has 164 cases, including 94 recoveries, according to NET Health. These numbers do not reflect inmates at the prisons in Tennessee Colony.

Rains County has 16 cases, including six recoveries, NET Health reported.

In Cherokee County, there are 250 COVID-19 cases, including 84 recoveries and two deaths, according to the Cherokee County Public Health Department.


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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