The Angelina County Jail reported its first cases of COVID-19 Thursday evening.
Seven inmates tested positive for the virus, according to a statement from Sheriff Greg Sanches that was released by his administrative assistant.
In the statement, Sanches said the jail was notified a sheriff’s office employee tested positive for the virus on July 20. That employee worked closely with eight jail inmates. The jail staff immediately quarantined the inmates, who were housed together in an eight-man tank.
The inmates were evaluated daily by medical staff to ensure they were not showing symptoms of the virus. They were tested on Wednesday at the recommendation of medical supervisor.
The inmates have shown no signs of the virus and have maintained their health, according to the statement, which goes on to say that the inmates will remain in quarantine and that jail staff will take every precaution to ensure the safety of the inmates and staff.
COVID-19 case reporting remains inconsistent for Angelina County as the difference in local and state numbers grows.
Both, the Angelina County & Cities Health District and Texas Department of State Health Services have 1,606 cases listed for Angelina County. This is where the similarities end.
The health district lists 14 deaths, the state lists 32. The state took over reporting deaths on Monday using death certificates submitted directly to the state.
State health officials on Thursday said they needed to correct cumulative fatalities for July 27, 28 and 29. The revision, which officials said was the result of an automation error in the counting method change, lowered the total death count by 225.
The revision didn’t remove any of Angelina County’s deaths, but did add another.
There are 17 deaths from the Rufus H. Duncan Geriatric Prison Facility, which is one more than reported on July 29.
The New York Times still lists Lufkin as one of the leading cities in the nation for COVID-19 deaths over the last two weeks, although the article says it’s last update was on July 29. Lufkin is No. 13 in the nation with a reported 19 new deaths, although these numbers are listed as flat or decreasing.
The state is reporting 401 recoveries while the health district lists 860 — more than half of those listed ill. The state’s dashboard was updated at 4:55 p.m. on July 30, but the state says to expect a lag in reported recoveries.
The state lists 1,134 active cases, which does not include probable cases. The state notes that active cases can experience a lag as well. However, this number is 79 higher than was reported on July 29.
The Times lists Lufkin as the 17th highest in the nation for new cases over the last two weeks with 732. However, Angelina County’s case count shows 724 cases from July 15-29 or 775 new cases from July 14-28.
Their data shows Lufkin still having 1,566 cases and 31 deaths.
The Duncan Unit has four active offender cases and 269 offender recoveries. They also list nine active employee cases and 42 employee recoveries. Four inmates are in medical isolation and no one is on medical restriction.
The Diboll Unit has 11 active offender cases and nine recoveries. They list three active employee cases. The unit has 15 in medical isolation and 472 on medical restriction.
Neither facility is on lockdown.
Numbers reported by the Texas Department of Public Safety will fluctuate because they represent an active count rather than a historical count.
The Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council is reporting 13 confirmed cases in the intensive care unit and two suspected cases. They make up 30.6% of the ICU beds in use. There are 39 confirmed in general isolation and two suspected. They make up 26.1% of general beds in use.
There are 18 COVID patients being ventilated and 27 adult vents are in use, their report said.
The health district said Polk County has 656 positive cases, 192 recoveries and one death. San Augustine has 153 positive cases, 115 recoveries and 12 deaths.
Nacogdoches has 938 confirmed cases, 353 active cases, 553 recoveries and 32 deaths. Based on population, The New York Times has still listed Nacogdoches as the No. 2 city for most improved death rate.