COVID-19

It has been more than a month since Angelina County’s last fatality associated with COVID-19, but data from local and state agencies suggests cases are growing.

There were three new confirmed and 44 new probable cases reported in Angelina County on Wednesday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. There have been 204 new probable and 66 new confirmed cases reported since the first of July.

The Angelina County & Cities Health District’s last update, made on Tuesday, indicated the county saw 163 new probable and confirmed cases in the last seven days.

There are an estimated 233 active cases countywide, according to state data. The Centers for Disease Control says Angelina County’s transmission rate is high but it has no vaccination data, and the last update was July 25.

With that in mind, there was a 306% change in new cases, testing rose by 2.5% and hospital admissions rose by 114%.

There is a discrepancy in state data compared to health district data. The state said there were 5,058 confirmed cases as of July 28, while the health district said there were 5,080 as of July 27. Along the same lines, the state said there were 3,932 probable cases as of July 28 and the health district said there were 3,954 probable cases.

This is because the state gets its data on a lag, health district administrator Sharon Shaw said. The health district’s data is the most accurate, she said.

There have been 288 coronavirus related fatalities in Angelina County; the last reported fatality was on June 19.

Data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council shows a growing number of hospitalizations in Angelina County.

In the last seven days, COVID-19 hospitalizations rose from nine people to 19. There were eight in the intensive care unit and 11 in general isolation on Wednesday.

In the Trauma Service Area-H region, which includes Angelina, Nacogdoches, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto and Tyler counties, coronavirus hospitalizations rose from 24 people to 43. Angelina County’s cases took up the bulk of those hospitalizations.

There are four variants the CDC says its tracking: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. The delta variant has begun spreading nationally and makes up more than half the cases, according to the health district.

Current CDC information says that while the vaccine does help to prevent hospitalization and death, breakthrough infection in fully vaccinated people is not off the table. But this relies on community transmission. There also is limited data on vaccine effectiveness on people who are immunocompromised.

Vaccinations picked up a little in the last week but have slowed in comparison to late March and early April. There have been 56,024 doses administered — this includes first and second shots.

In total, there were 27,278 people fully vaccinated in Angelina County as of 4:25 p.m. Wednesday, according to the state. There were 31,139 people vaccinated with at least one dose.

The largest group of vaccinated individuals were between 16 and 49 years old, with 8,882 people fully vaccinated. The second largest group was between 50 and 64 years old, with 8,168 people fully vaccinated. People between 65 and 79 years make up 7,661 of the total full vaccinations.

By and large women were the largest demographic vaccinated.

Cases are rising across the state, according to the DSHS. There were 10,086 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, 2,811 probable cases and 59 newly reported fatalities.

The new cases are a dramatic uptick from cases reported in May, June and early July. Fatalities are about the same as they have been the last few months.

Jess Huff's email address is jess.huff@lufkindailynews.com.