Texas Could Have Dodged Monster Spike
with Five-Figure Case Vanishing Overnight

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor
August 1, 2020

The state slashed more than 11,000 cases from the Texas coronavirus counts in five major counties on Saturday and still recorded its fourth infections increase in the past five days.

The Department of State Health Services reported 9,539 new COVID-19 cases today - pushing the running statewide total to 430,485 since the initial outbreak almost five months ago.

Cameron County continued to be the current hottest spot in Texas with the state reporting a record 816 new infections on Saturday - the third time the virus has hit a high point there in the past week. The virus count skyrocketed to new heights in Midland County as well on Saturday after four days of reporting no new cases before President Donald Trump traveled there for a fundraiser and oil rig speech that ignored the contagion.

With a daily average of almost 9,000 new cases since Monday, the curve that the state thought it was flattening has taken a turn back to the north in Texas for the first time since the last week in May when the seed for the second surge was being planted here.

But the agency's increasingly confusing methods for tracking the virus across Texas makes it difficult if not impossible to tell if the coronavirus would have cracked the 20,000 daily new infection mark today if it hadn't whacked 11,069 from the combined tallies in Bexar, Nueces, Ector and Tom Green counties in a single sweep of the eraser.

The state deleted 6,868 infections from the cumulative Bexar County count compared to the sum that it reported on Friday. State virus trackers subtracted 2,455 cases from the Nueces County tally in a development that knocked it out of the crowning spot on the Texas pandemic leader board for major population centers.

Nueces County had been credited with 3,396 coronavirus cases for every 100,000 people there heading into Saturday when the rate plunged to 2,729 today.

The DSHS knocked 735 cases from the cumulative Tom Green County count while whittling 1,011 from the cumulative tally in Ector County where a record spike had been recorded on Tuesday on the eve of Trump's visit to the Midland-Odessa area. Harris County even had three fewer cases on Saturday than the state had reported there the previous day.

Texas would have set a new record on Saturday with 20,611 new coronavirus infections if the combined number of cases that were wiped from the books in the five counties in question had been added to the current daily increase that the DSHS reported this afternoon.

The timing of a 31 percent overnight reduction in the Ector caseload is intriguing in light of the fact that the state showed the virus crushing the daily record today in Midland County with 755 new infections. The previous Midland highest point had come on July 7 with 155 new infections logged there that day. The new record is almost five times higher than the now-defunct mark in Midland.

Midland County - whether by coincidence or design - had kept the coronavirus in check there for the Trump trip by failing to report any new cases for fours days based on DSHS records.

The state had created substantial confusion earlier this week when it overhauled the method that it uses for county coronavirus fatalities.

more to come ...

Major Counties
COVID-19 Cases Per 100,000
Population August 1 AM & PM
1 Nueces 3,396 2,729
2 Potter 2,909 2,909
3 Galveston 2,581 2,581
4 Cameron 2,396 2,396
5 Webb 2,130 2,130
6 Jefferson 2,130 2,130
7 Bexar 2,054 1,733
8 Ector 2,027 1,449
9 Hidalgo 1,964 1,964
10 Tom Green 1,955 1,335
11 Hays 1,930 1,930
12 Dallas 1,895 1,895
13 Lubbock 1,767 1,767
14 Brazoria 1,724 1,724
15 El Paso 1,698 1,698
16 Brazos 1,698 1,698
17 McLennan 1,674 1,674
18 Travis 1,639 1,639
19 Harris 1,553 1,553
20 Ellis 1,367 1,367
21 Kaufman 1,351 1,351
22 Tarrant 1,334 1,334
23 Midland 1,263 1,263
24 Randall 1,141 1,141
25 Comal 1,120 1,120
26 Montgomery 1,049 1,049
27 Gregg 1,039 1,039
28 Williamson 1,008 1,008
29 Smith 996 996
30 Bell 975 975
31 Guadalupe 973 973
32 Fort Bend 899 899
33 Johnson 875 875
34 Taylor 782 782
35 Denton 778 778
36 Parker 764 764
37 Grayson 737 737
38 Wichita 671 671
39 Collin 615 615


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