Sunday, July 12, 2020

Cases Doubling at a Faster Rate

The time it has taken for positive COVID-19 cases to double was nearly three weeks as cases went from 95 to over 190.  The next doubling took less than two weeks (190 to 380).  The most recent doubling took less than ten days (from 380 to 760).  This pattern, along with Tom Green County's 25.8% positivity rate, should be most concerning to elected officials and local public health officers.

San Angelo City Council plans to meet Tuesday for a budget workshop.  Council has not heard a presentation on our community's deteriorating public health situation, which includes nearly two dozen positive COVID-19 cases for residents at Regency House, an area nursing facility.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness is responsible for planning, preparing for and responding to all types of public health threats and emergencies that impact the health of San Angelo.
What increased resources are needed beyond the City Attorney for contact tracing as cases have soared?  How has mask usage changed over time, especially since Governor Abbott's executive order?  Should cases and hospitalizations continue rising at a rapid rate how long before our local hospitals are challenged in responding to the level of need?

City Council representatives know people in their districts and are in a position to influence behavior.  So far, Mayor Brenda Gunter has been out front in leading on this issue with Local Health Authority Dr. James Vretis.  I am sure health department staff have worked hard, but that department has been whittled down severely since I moved her in 1995.   Today's city news revealed:

Our health department is behind on getting people released from quarantine/isolation due to the increase in positive cases of COVID-19. If you are currently under quarantine or isolation (either a positive COVID-19 case or a contact to a known case) and have met the requirements to be released, please fill out this form on our website.
Our current case explosion merits public presentation and sharing of strategies to stem the increase in cases.  Data on the effectiveness of those strategies could be shared.  Tuesday, July 21st is Council's next opportunity to lead on this issue.  We will know by then if there has been another doubling (from 760 to 1520).

Update 7-14-20:  Case count is now 1160, with active cases at 664.  Nine people have died.  Eight deaths occurred in the last three weeks

Update 7-15-20:  Case count is now 1265, with active cases at 740.  Texas set new records today with 10,791 new positive cases and 110 COVID-19 deaths.

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