The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

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By Dave Rogers
For the Record 

Covid-19 death count jumps in OC


Last updated 8/11/2020 at 10:02pm

Deaths in Orange County from Covid-19 infections have increased from 5 to 21 in the past month.

“Several of those people have been sick for awhile,” County Judge John Gothia said when asked about the recent fatalities.

“Two of the people were a married couple that didn’t go to the doctor soon enough. That’s the ones we’re having trouble with.

“If you have a number of underlying conditions, don’t try to wait it out.”

Orange County rocketed past the 1,000 mark in confirmed Covid-19 cases last week and is poised to blow past 1,500 total Wednesday.

According to the New York Times Covid-19 data base, Orange County is among the hottest of hot spots in Texas with more than 50 new cases per day per 100,000 people.

Orange County’s population is about 84,000.

Joel Ardoin, county emergency management director, said Tuesday that the county now has 1,050 active cases and 1,493 confirmed cases in all.

Of that latter number, 422 have recovered.

On the bright side, he noted that there has been less demand for hospital beds and intensive care units region-wide as Jefferson County hospitals had only 84 Covid patients as of Tuesday.

However, the last official release by the Orange County Emergency Management homepage on Facebook, which was Aug. 6, showed 21 county residents to be hospitalized with seven on ventilators.

Gothia said he thought it would be at least a couple more weeks before any adverse reactions to students restarting school would show up in the county statistics.

But he said it wasn’t a matter of it, but when.

“Cases are going up, and I anticipate there will be a rise for schools opening again,” he said.

“But it takes three or four weeks from being exposed to getting sick, to being tested and the results to come back.”

Ardoin announced that the county has a couple more 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. testing days coming up.

The first is Friday, Aug. 14, at St. Paul’s Episcopal in Orange. The second is Thursday, Aug. 20, at the County Convention and Expo Center on FM 1442.

The Covid pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 9,000 Texans since March but the big spike in cases in July is easing.

Texas has seen an average of 7,500 cases per day over the past week, a decrease of 7 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

 Gothia congratulated Kurt Guidry, county maintenance director, Tuesday for the speed with which he and his staff have added safeguards from infectious diseases, using federal CARES funds that had an short expiration date.

Guidry has fashioned sneeze guards for departments dealing with the public, set up kiosks that check visitors’ temperature, and stockpiled PPEs (personal protection equipment) for the winter cold and flu season, when a second wave of Covid-19 has been predicted by some.


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