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Harrison County Judge Chad Sims announced Monday that the county has seen a steady increase in COVID-19 cases this past week, averaging 43 new cases per day.

Sims said that in comparison, the county was averaging 5 to 10 cases per day during the summer time.

Harrison County also saw five new fatalities due to COVID-19 in the past week, with the hospitalization rate for the virus at 20.58 percent on Sunday.

“We have been over the 15 percent trigger for 21 days now,” Sims said. “I hope these numbers will encourage you to be even more cautious. The increase in case numbers, fatalities and hospitalizations will only go down if we slow the spread. Avoid crowds, wear your mask and keep your hands clean.”

The county has confirmed an additional 302 cases this past week, with 365 total active cases.

“It’s very likely that you know someone who has the virus right now. If so, please don’t hesitate to call and encourage them and certainly help with food or anything else. That is what we as a compassionate community do. If you have questions or need anything, don’t hesitate to contact me,” Sims said. “I do anticipate that the vaccine distribution will steadily increase over the next few days and weeks. Continue to watch this page for updates.”

STATE CASES

Texas hit a new record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations Sunday, as a surge in the disease caused by the novel coronavirus continued to strain state medical resources following holiday travel and gatherings.

State health officials reported 12,563 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, an increase of more than 240 from Saturday. It was the sixth time in seven days that the state reported record breaking hospitalizations.

Intensive care units in several parts of the state were full or nearly full Sunday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The department reported 14,535 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, 1,510 more probable cases and 50 fatalities. The actual number of cases is believed to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and some who get sick don’t show symptoms.

Over the last seven days, nearly one in five coronavirus tests in Texas has come back positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness and be fatal.

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