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Jarvis Buckley

I believe it’s reasonable to believe it is because of increasing the testing . Not because of a spike in covid-19

Bailey Jones

Jarvis, that's reasonable to believe, but not correct. But there's no need to rely on belief because we have real data. The GCDN has done a great job at displaying the data for both testing and for positive cases. If you look at the graph of increases in testing you can see that it is increasing linearly, in a nice straight line. If the number of new cases was only due to increased testing, the number of new cases would also be increasing linearly, in a nice straight line. But it's not. It's increasing exponentially - I think the term the president likes to use is "like a rocket ship". Check out the data for yourself here:

https://www.galvnews.com/coronavirus/graphics/

Compare the graph for Galveston County COVID-19 Testing with the graph for Galveston County COVID-19 Infections & Recoveries.

Carlos Ponce

1867 Total Cases, 1167 are active cases, 34 are hospitalized, the rest self quarantined even if asymptomatic.

Of the 1867, whites make up 676 cases, followed by Hispanics at 506 followed by Black at 301, Unknown at 280.and other groups listed.

1079 are women, 788 are men.

https://www.gchd.org/about-us/news-and-events/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/galveston-county-confirmed-covid-19-cases

Walter Dannenmaier

We are going to need a lot more people to die if we intend to justify the damage done to our economy by hysterical government over-reaction. From the stats helpfully published by the GCDN, it is clear that the under-60 group is under-performing in mortality.

Gary Scoggin

You seem disappointed not more people have died.

Wayne D Holt

Gary, he's just pointing out that headlines that broadcast "Cases are increasing" are leading the public to the conclusion that is the metric we should be looking at; it isn't.

It should be 1) number of cases vs hospitalizations; 2) number of cases vs intensive medical interventions like ICU care; 3) fatalities that are conclusively attributed to Covid-19; and 4) comorbidities and known risk factors involved for those who succumbed.

If we were serious about understanding where we are with this, the above would be part of every analysis and conversation because it is the only way to get an accurate sense of the level of risk to which populations are exposed.

The idea that lumping senior care facilities and prison population numbers in with the 80%+ of the general population who are untroubled by the virus is either really bad science or intended to scare us into actions we wouldn't take if we understood the situation better.

Not to speak for him but I believe Mr. Dannenmaier was merely pointing out that for us to have a serious worry about where this was going, we would be seeing fatalities going up much faster. I don't think he was rooting for the virus to kill more people.

BTW I think there is even a problem when we see fatalities going up as a percentage of new cases. It should be fatalities as a percentage of the total population. If 50-75 percent of the population had already been exposed to it without a surge of medical emergencies, that is evidence of increasing herd immunity, not lethality. At some hypothetical point, if 95 percent of the population has been exposed and there is a faster rise in fatalities for the remaining five percent, the absolute numbers would still be going down as a percentage of the total population.

This would certainly be a personal tragedy for those who are affected but from an epidemiological perspective, you would be seeing good news, not bad. I wish news sources would try to make some of this admittedly complicated picture clearer to readers so we could make better decisions than we have in the recent past.

Bailey Jones

COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled in the last 3 weeks in Galveston County (100 to 200), in Harris County (500 to 1000), and in the state as a whole (1700 to 3400). https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/additionaldata.aspx (You'll have to download the hospitalization spreadsheet). I don't know how much louder the signal needs to be.

Testing continues to be the problem, as it has been since this all started. Only 1.5M of Texas' 30M people have been tested (5%), so we can't say where we are as far as how many Texans have been infected and far along our herd immunity is - if such a thing even exists. We do know that of the 1.5M tested, only 100K have been positive, which would indicate that our infection rate has nowhere to go but up.

Gary Scoggin

Wayne.. You're explanation is quite rational and makes sense. It's amazing that you were able to divine all of that out of "We are going to need a lot more people to die if we intend to justify the damage done to our economy by hysterical government over-reaction.".

The missing in all of this are the serious cases and fatalities that would have occurred if not for the painful economic measures we have taken. (I'm sure epidemioligsts have a model or two to predict this.) We should regard lower than predicted death rates as a good thing, not as a shortcoming.

Carlos Ponce

"Galveston County (100 to 200)" hospitalizations. Look at:

https://www.gchd.org/about-us/news-and-events/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/galveston-county-confirmed-covid-19-cases

Previously hospitalized, now recovered = 84

Currently hospitalized = 34

Deceased = 40 (Let's assume they were all hospitalized.)

84 + 34 + 40 = 158 not 200. 158 is still bad but inaccurate.

Were you rounding or using hyperbole? Or were you just repeating what someone else told you?

Walter Dannenmaier

Gary Scoggin - Just imagine all the deaths that could be avoided if Jim Yarbrough would require all Galvestonians to not only wear masks at stores, but also wear them at home. And if people would only stay home all the time, the reduction in mortality due to COVID-19 would be astonishing. We just need government to be a little bit more controlling and real miracles can be achieved!

Gary Scoggin

Yep. You qualify for that monument committee you suggested.

Jose' Boix

So, what is the accepted/approved plot/trend that we should follow to monitor the possible "cresting" or "flattening."? Who knows and can post? Just my thoughts.

Bailey Jones

Jose, the goal is simple. We're trying to avoid overwhelming the health care system. So the metric to watch is hospitalizations as a percentage of available hospital beds. A daily snapshot of that can be seen here -

https://www.tmc.edu/coronavirus-updates/total-icu-bed-occupancy/

The trend over time can be seen here -

https://www.tmc.edu/coronavirus-updates/tmc-covid-19-icu-occupancy-trend/

When you see this graph begin to decline you'll know that we have passed the peak.

These are Houston area stats, I'm not aware of a similar site for Galveston County.

Bailey Jones

Let me stick a caveat on that, Jose. These graphics are just for the Texas Medical Center, not all Houston area hospitals.

Jose' Boix

Bailey: Thank you for the data leads. As you say however, it would be great to have for Galveston County. Wonder why GCHD does not develop/post such trends.

Bailey Jones

I'm sure the county health department is keeping track, I just don't know where to find the data. I found this site yesterday which has good state and county data, but not hospitalizations: https://tabexternal.dshs.texas.gov/t/THD/views/COVIDExternalQC/COVIDTrends?:isGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&:embed=y

Bailey Jones

Jose, I was able to find the data. It's here - https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0d8bdf9be927459d9cb11b9eaef6101f

The state is divided into "trauma service areas" and shows the total number of beds, beds available, and beds used for COVID patients. In the Galveston TSA, hospital bed capacity is at 80%, with 12% of that being COVID patients.

timothy spencer

Does anyone know the date of the first official COV19 infection for Galveston County? Harris County?

Bailey Jones

The first case in Galveston County was on 3/15, first death was 4/6. In Harris County the first case was 3/6, first death was 3/20, as best as I can read the data here:

https://tabexternal.dshs.texas.gov/t/THD/views/COVIDExternalQC/COVIDTrends?:isGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&:embed=y

Joe Mancuso

But if you look at the data from the graphs on https://www.gchd.org/about-us/news-and-events/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/galveston-county-confirmed-covid-19-cases, it looks like the first case in Galveston County was on 3/13. You know, it would be nice if the data would match!

Carlos Ponce

Joe posts, "You know, it would be nice if the data would match!" That would be nice but you have to set up specific parameters. The Friendswood woman in question contacted a diseased person prior to March 5 while in Montgomery County. She developed symptoms on March 5 while in Galveston County according to the GCDN article. On March 6 she traveled to Austin in Travis County. She was tested in Travis County March 11. "Galveston County was informed about the presumptive diagnosis about 11:30 pm Thursday [March 12], officials said."The GCDN article was submitted on March 13, appearing in print in the March 14, 2020 GCDN. But at the time she was listed as "presumptive".

So according to the GCDN she was in Galveston County with symptoms on March 5, 2020.

Carlos Ponce

Galveston County

"Presumed first local coronavirus case manifested symptoms while in the county" Mar 13, 2020 GCDN

"She had contact with a known COVID-19 case from Montgomery County and on March 5 experienced symptoms of cough and fever. She then traveled to Austin on March 6."

https://www.galvnews.com/news/free/article_b12ebaa1-1be5-56ca-b8ce-032e04c2867e.html

But she self quarantined in Austin.

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