The Angelina County & Cities Health District reported 22 new cases and 16 new probable cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported six new deaths.

This is the first health district update since Sept. 11.

The new cases bring the cumulative number of positive tests in Angelina County to 2,789 and the total active cases to 559, including those reported by the Diboll Prison Unit and the Rufus H. Duncan Geriatric Prison Facility in Diboll, as well as the probable cases listed by the health district.

Health district director Sharon Shaw believes the probables should be considered positives because they’re treated the same way: People are encouraged to follow the same quarantine guidelines and given the same regimen, she said.

“A probable is treated the same as a positive. They still have to quarantine; it’s the same regimen,” Shaw said in a previous story. “It’s a different way to dilute the numbers, which is not helpful for the public.”

The state does not include probables when reporting active cases, so their active cases are lower than would be considered active in Angelina County by the health district.

The health district reported 2,094 positive tests, 1,769 estimated recoveries and 311 probable cases of COVID-19 in Angelina County on Wednesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 2,072 positive cases, 77 fatalities, 1,769 recoveries and 226 active cases in the county on Wednesday.

The Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council listed five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the intensive care unit and no suspected cases. It also lists 20 confirmed cases in general isolation at local hospitals with one suspected case.

There are nine people being ventilated and 34 available ventilators.

Their data shows a slow, general decline in COVID cases at the hospital. Over the past few months, there have been peaks and valleys in their data, meaning some days there were no more than 10 total cases at the hospital and then shortly after there were dozens. But the graph SETRAC supplies shows an overall decline in patients.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported no active offender cases, 259 recovered offender cases, seven active employee cases and 45 recovered employee cases in the Duncan facility on Wednesday. There are 22 offenders on medical restriction.

The TDCJ also reported 20 deaths at the Duncan Unit.

The department also reported one active offender case and 37 recovered offender cases in the Diboll Prison Unit. It lists no active employee cases and 15 recovered employee cases. There are 111 people on medical restriction, two in medical isolation and the facility is no longer on lockdown.

Starting Sept. 9, the state also began requiring school districts to file weekly reports on new COVID-19 cases among students, teachers and staff. The Texas Education Agency and DSHS will collect and update the data, which will be published and sorted by district.

Lufkin ISD rolled out an online daily COVID-19 tracking dashboard. The dashboard will be updated daily with the numbers of students and staff who are currently quarantined or reported positive for the coronavirus and can be accessed at sites.google.com/lufkinisd.org/covid-tracking/home.

There was one new positive case among students and one among staff on Wednesday. There were 346 students and 38 staff members in isolation or under quarantine.

Statewide, the DSHS on Thursday reported 674,772 positive cases, 14,478 deaths, an estimated 590,837 recoveries and an estimated 69,457 active cases. Its dashboard also reported 3,409 new daily cases and 135 new deaths. A total of 5,299,620 molecular tests had been conducted as of Wednesday.

The true number of cases statewide is likely higher because many haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick, according to the Associated Press.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and be fatal.

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