What will Harris County do about rising case numbers?

I’m afraid we’ll find out soon enough.

The Harris Health System’s COVID-19 ward was down to just one patient at the beginning of July.

Anxious to hit zero COVID-19 patients, Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, the hospital system’s CEO, purchased and stored a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling grape juice — “fake champagne” — in his refrigerator. If the COVID ward emptied out, he would drive to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, one of the system’s two medical centers, to celebrate with doctors and nurses.

Instead, the numbers went the opposite direction. As of Friday morning, nurses were treating 14 COVID patients at LBJ Hospital.

“We really had the opportunity to have this darn thing beaten,” Porsa said.

COVID-19 infections are climbing upward again in Houston and Texas as vaccine rates lag, the delta variant spreads and people return to their normal lives.

Most of the patients admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 are unvaccinated or have received just one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, Porsa said. None of the 119 people who have died from COVID-19 at Harris Health since January were fully vaccinated.

“If that is not reason enough for us to change our attitudes toward a simple, accessible, proven safe and proven effective prevention … I’m just losing my mind,” Porsa said.

Hospitalizations across the state have increased by more than 75 percent in recent weeks: On June 27, 1,428 hospital beds were filled; by July 15, the number had reached 2,519.

According to KHOU, “Almost every county in the area is seeing an increase in new cases”, and “Daily new cases in the Greater Houston area have jumped about 65% in the last two weeks”. (Cases and hospitalizations are rising nationally, too.) They show data from Harris and its surrounding counties except for Liberty and Waller. Harris has the lowest percentage increase, but it’s the biggest county so its sheer numbers are the highest.

We know how Travis County is responding to its increase in cases. Harris County had dropped its threat level to Yellow in May. Are we looking at a step up again?

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has yet to announce any rollbacks for the region.

“There is no conceivable reason why a single additional hospital bed in our healthcare system should be filled with someone who is sick from COVID-19 when vaccines are readily available and free,” said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesperson for Hidalgo’s office.

Vaccination rates plateaued in late April amid high hesitancy rates and difficulty accessing immunization sites. In recent months, health officials piloted financial incentives such as scholarships to encourage younger people to sign up for an appointment.

Stay tuned on that. Maybe there’s some headway to be made with younger people, whose vax rates are the lowest among age groups. Better happen quickly, that’s all I can say.

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5 Responses to What will Harris County do about rising case numbers?

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    They will need to ban the Democrats (any survivors) from returning, because two or three more have tested positive for the Deadliest Plague of All Time, the Delta Plus Variant. IF this had been a Trump rally or something, the news would be all over it, with sharpened fingers pointing. Now, I hope that my rep, Mrs. Morales-Shaw, is OK. She never did call me back. She was supposed to explain how drive through voting is NOT going to destroy the climate, and also, I was gonna explain to her how federal funding works. She was terrified that I could find out her location, but if I knew where she was I would have gone there and taken her to a safe location. She seems nice. She has been a single parent since her husband died. I hope she is not ill with the Deadly Variant.

  2. C.L. says:


  3. Bill Daniels says:

    TX legislator superspreader event update:

    6th legislator from the mask free ‘flight from Hell’ pops hot for Wu flu:


  4. Bill Daniels says:

    Funny no matter who you are:

    Texas Dems left with one case of Miller Lite and ended up with six cases of Corona.

    Talk about turning water into whine……

  5. Jason Hochman says:

    Don’t mess with Texas. The Democrats have now infected a staffer of Nancy Pelosi, an octogenarian, very much in the high risk group. Not to mention, Joe Biden’s boss, Mrs. Harris, went for a routine checkup. On a Sunday. Who goes to get a regular medical exam on Sunday? It must be noted that Joe Biden is an octogenarian, and very much at risk of the deadly Delta. Of course Biden should be impeached for failing to keep us safe. How could Biden and Mrs. Harris support a super spreader event. Hopefully anyone who votes will remember this debacle on Election Day. Or, I guess now we should say Election Days, Weeks, or Months. I bet my state rep, Mrs. Morales Shaw, was bullied, cajoled, harangued, and duped into going along with this. She is new to the game, and more experienced, more cruel people, such as Jean Val Jean Wu probably bullied her to go along.

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