Photo: Handout, National Institute Of Allergy An/AFP Via Getty Images
City of Laredo and Webb County officials confirmed on Thursday 960 positives and eight deaths in their latest COVID-19 report, the latest update as the city continues to deal with a surge of novel coronavirus cases.
While far less than than 2,066 cases reported on Wednesday, the 960 positives confirmed today is the second-highest amount of cases confirmed in a single day and the eighth consecutive day that over 400 cases were reported.
In January thus far, 6,6651 cases have already been confirmed. This mark nearly surpasses the 6,923 cases confirmed in all of December, which is the most active month of positives since March.
As of the noon update, 242 patients are under treatment — 76 of which are under intensive care — at Laredo hospitals, setting a new record high of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Laredo area.
This marks the fifth time in the last eight days that the city has set a new high of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Additionally, today marks the eighth consecutive day over 200 people have been hospitalized in the Laredo area.
The COVID-19 hospitalization rate reported in the Laredo hospital region continues to lead the state of Texas.
Texas Department of State Health Services reports a rate of 46.79% for the region for January 12. The rate is nearly 16 points above the next second-highest region, Waco, which stands at 30.85%.
Laredo hospitals continue to operate with minimal space available for patients. According to DSHS data, a total of 15 hospital beds are available in the region, three of which are available for ICU patients. On January 8 and 9, DSHS reported no ICU beds were available.
The latest fatalities confirmed on Thursday are the highest number seen in one day since December 14, when the city reported nine deaths due to the virus.
Two deaths dating back to December were confirmed today: A man in his 80s who died on December 23 and an woman in her 80s who died on December 22.
The remaining deaths all occurred on Wednesday, January 13. Theses fatalities include six women (three in their 70s and two in their 80s) and a man in his 60s.
Since March, 33,618 people have tested positive and 551 deaths have been recorded. 2,708 people remain actively infected with the virus, with 30,359 people estimated to have recovered from a previous infection.
As of noon, 224,763 tests for the virus have been administered in the Laredo area.