Galveston County, we have a growing COVID-19 problem.

Reported cases of COVID-19 are growing at a faster rate since state officials eased restrictions meant to slow the spread. What this means is we are entering a potential window of higher risk. Infections are still controllable but require our attention and action.

According to recent figures, Galveston County is seeing substantial growth in cases, leading local health officials, businesses and residents to elevate protective measures to slow the numbers.

As recently as Saturday, the Galveston County Health District recorded 142 new cases — a significant daily increase, particularly when compared to numbers dating back to March 13.

At the end of May, Galveston County reported 871 cases; as of Monday, the county total was 1,968. This compounding rate should concern even those most hardened to the threat of the virus. Confirmed cases, and therefore the spread risk, is on the rise.

The increase in positive cases is not a matter of increased testing, although the number of tests being reported each day is up to an average of about 700 from about 500. The percentage of those coming back positive has risen to about 12 percent, however, from a rate as low as 0.5 percent.

The critical elements of COVID-19 we should consider when comparing to the standard flu rates are the 3-to-1 spread factor (1-to-1 with standard flu), a higher death rate, and — importantly — there is not yet an effective vaccine.

Officially, of the 1,867 cases, 660 people medically recovered, and 40 have died. And of those, many carried underlying medical risk factors. But they were our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens, too.

Slowing down or stopping testing is not going to help the science of understanding this pandemic. Reporting helps us understand and determine the infection and death rates. Testing, like the research, must continue.

Businesses throughout Galveston County are only now reopening. And while many have invested in installing safety barriers and new health-oriented protocols, there remains a risk. As we have seen, an infection of a staff member can lead to the re-closing of businesses by responsible and concerned owners.

Harris County has issued orders for all residents to wear masks or other facial coverings.

Over the weekend, Mayor Bobby Hocking issued a proclamation urging residents of La Marque to wear masks but stopped short of enacting fines for people who don’t comply.

Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough issued an order Monday requiring people to wear masks.

Expect this trend to continue until we can get this pandemic under control.

Remember, all the masks, hand washing and social distancing won’t eradicate the virus. A vaccine will need to come from the medical community. As socially responsible citizens, our role is to work to slow the spread of the virus so as not to overwhelm our medical systems.

Let’s make sure we do all we can to practice socially responsible behavior while balancing the needs of our daily lives.

Finally, the mask is not for you. It’s a simple, effective way to prevent infecting other people. Most health authorities believe wearing a mask reduces the spread of airborne particles containing coronavirus.

It’s also a sign you care about others. Wearing a mask says you are willing to put others ahead of yourself.

Mask up, Galveston County. Let’s show we care about each other.

• Leonard Woolsey

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

Locations

Recommended for you

(10) comments

Bailey Jones

"Remember, all the masks, hand washing and social distancing won’t eradicate the virus." Remember also, that masks, hand washing and social distancing are the ONLY means of fighting this virus. I think that idea gets lost in a world where everything seems to have a cure or a chemical preventative - this virus does not.

The GCDN should be congratulated for the excellent presentation of local pandemic data on its graphics page. I urge everyone to check it out. https://www.galvnews.com/coronavirus/graphics/

I do wish that the paper would start including the Galveston County COVID-19 Case Status graph in stories that update the number of cases. It speaks volumes.

Carlos Ponce

I would guess most with the Wuhan Virus got it from a family member who was not so careful.....

Mom, dad, I'm going on a date! Bye!

Wait young lady. Are you taking precautions?

A condom? Puleeze, I'm not ready for sex!

Sex? No, no. Do you have your mask?

Mask! Are you kidding? Can't kiss with a mask on!

You don't want to get sick. You don't know where that boy's been.

Mom, dad - I trust him! A mask shows I don't.

No kissing! You don't want to get the virus do you? Now put your mask on. Send me a selfie that shows your boyfriend also has a mask.

(To be continued on the next episode of "AS THE VIRUS SPREADS!")

Ray Taft

Cases are going up because we are testing more and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would have fewer cases.

Health authorities had a back log in cases and released the results all at once. A false indicator of a sudden rise in cases.

The World Health Organization says healthy people don't need to wear face masks and that doing so won't provide added protection from the coronavirus.

Democrats want to release prisoners into the public. If masks were the end all to preventing a China virus infection, they would just give masks to the prisoners and leave them where they are.

If people can go out and protest and create all sorts of havoc, without the same government leaders telling them to stop because they’re not wearing masks, then no one really needs to wear a mask.

Being required to wear a mask is a Democrat con job, and their media minions are happy to go along. This scare is all about Democrats trying to scare people into staying at home, keeping our economy shut down, and Democrats trying to steal the election by scaring Americans into letting Democrats cheat through mail-in voting.

And Woolsey writes an editorial without his usual photo of him wearing a mask. He has no photo at the top, but has a photo of himself, without a mask, at the bottom. A good indication he and TDN are full of it.

Citizens need to decide for themselves what they want to do. Democrats and their media minions are trying to con us.

Bailey Jones

"Cases are going up because we are testing more and ever expanding" Why do you keep saying this nonsense, Ray? There are twice as many people in the hospital with COVID-19 in Galveston County today than there were 3 weeks ago. There are twice as many people in the hospital with COVID-19 in Harris County today than there were 3 weeks ago. There are twice as many people in the hospital with COVID-19 in Texas today than there were 3 weeks ago. Are these imaginary people? Is it the Democrats, Ray? Are the Democrats filling the hospitals with fake people?

Terri Abraham

Bailey, thanks for writing what I was wondering, but in a much nicer way than I could think of to say it.

Bailey Jones

I'm pretty sure it's the Democrats.

Ted Gillis

And yet Woolsey continues to allow you to posts your obnoxious comments, word for word without editing. I wonder who the better man is.

“Full of it”? Not hardly.

Carlos Ponce

Ted's not being nice - again.

Ray Taft

Let’s me? I pay for my online-only subscription (at a price that subsidizes TDN printed version) that entitles me to have my say.

And Woolsey making me subsidize his printed version, when I don’t want one, doesn’t make him a better man.

Ted Gillis

And when it’s gone, you’ll blame it on the democrats.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.