Port Arthur COVID-19 cases hit 60 following Texas’ weekend spike

Published 7:48 am Monday, May 18, 2020

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The Port Arthur Health Department received confirmation on Sunday of two additional Port Arthur residents who tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

One individual is female between the age range of 40-45, and the other individual is male between the age range of 25-30.

Both individuals are quarantined at home and cooperating with local health officials.

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For confidentiality purposes, the health department is not releasing any additional information to identify these individuals. This brings the total to 60 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the City of Port Arthur.

As more businesses are opening, the Health Department is encouraging all citizens to remain vigilant about maintaining social distance.

“If you are in a place where social distancing cannot be maintained, a face covering should be used,” a health department release said. “This is still a very serious situation, and we are not yet in the position of relaxing our efforts of using those non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

State response

Governor Greg Abbott said he will make an announcement regarding Texas’ continued safe and strategic opening at 2 p.m. today (May 18) at the State Capitol.

On Sunday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported at total of 47,784 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,336 deaths associated with it. The true numbers are likely higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

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 death.

Saturday proved to be the worst day for Texas with new cases of coronavirus with more than 1,800 across the state.

The number of cases has steadily increased since May 5 with more than 14,000 people testing positive for COVID-19. The state reported 33 new deaths related tot he virus.

Nursing homes

Faced with the testing every nursing home patient in the coming days, the state provided numbers on how many cases were in nursing homes around the state. On Friday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported that more than 3,000 nursing home residents had the infection.

The 3,000 positive tests represent about 4% of the estimated number of Texans living in nursing homes, the Houston Chronicle reported. By comparison, about 0.15% of Texas residents have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

More than 26,000 residents and staff have died from outbreaks of the virus at the nation’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to an AP tally based on state health departments and media reports. That is about a third of all 76,000 deaths in the U.S. that have been attributed to the virus.

While nursing home residents in Texas make up around 6% of the state’s positive cases, they account for about 38% of the state’s deaths related to COVID-19, the newspaper reported.

The numbers for nursing homes that the state has released are broken down by region, but advocates and family members have been calling for more detailed information that shows cases by specific facility or at least by county.

“We’d like to see more transparency where the cases are,” said Amanda Fredriksen, associate state director for advocacy and outreach at AARP Texas. “And in seeing more testing going forward, especially as the state continues to open up.”