When Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald spoke on a Facebook Live event Friday afternoon, he spoke about the possibility of seeing positive cases start to reduce in the county for the coming weeks.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported 40 additional cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.
The total number of cases is now 572, of which 292 are active.
“Let’s continue to pray for each other and we will get through this, not by the waving of some magic wand,” McDonald said. “We are making progress but frankly, we have a long way to go.”
McDonald also touched on the number of deaths currently being reported by DSHS for Matagorda County. The state figure sits at five but county officials believe 16 had died due to COVID-19.
“We know as officials there are more deaths in Matagorda County due to COVID-19 than what is being reported at this time in Matagorda County,” McDonald said. “We are waiting for those investigations to be complete instead of jumping out in front of those investigations.”
Mitch Thames, Matagorda County public information officer, said the EOC estimates the total number of past and current investigations into the deaths of Matagorda County residents who were COVID-19 positive at the time of their passing to be 16, which is an increase of 2 since the last weekly report.
“We have contacted DSHS to gain more insight on how COVID-19 fatalities are certified, including whether or not the fatality certification process has changed,” Thames said. “We expect to have
answers from DSHS later this week, and we will share their response at that time. As previously stated, the EOC’s estimate of deaths under investigation simply reflects the number of cases we know of and may not include information on residents who pass away at home, in LTACHs, SNFs, or nursing homes, or anywhere outside of our county.”
McDonald pointed to a report of a comparison of confirmed cases per 1,000 for counties in this region.
“I would like to call to your attention the results of this report that are frankly disheartening,” McDonald said.
The report is a case count for the counties of Matagorda, Fort Bend, Calhoun, Jackson, Wharton Harris and Brazoria.
Matagorda and Brazoria are tied with 12.4 confirmed cases per 1,000 at the top of the list.
“We are leading the race here and we are leading the wrong race,” McDonald said. “We need to be down there with Fort Bend with 7.1 per 1,000 but we are not. We need to do a better job of wearing our masks and adhere to the governor’s emergency order and that is to adhere to the emergency order any time you are in public or in an enclosed area to wear a mask. If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for your neighbors and your colleagues.”
Aaron Fox, chief business development officer and public information officer for the Matagorda County Hospital District, said cases appear to be declining at this moment.
“Matagorda County has experienced a slight downward trend in the number of total cases reported each week over the past four weeks, which is encouraging,” Fox said. “But during that same period, the trend of total active cases increased, meaning more people have become ill than have recovered during the trended period.
“The good news is that if we continue seeing a decrease in the number of new cases like we are now, the
number of active cases will naturally decline over the next 14 days,” Fox said. “Time is on our side and the trend of new cases is currently in our favor, so let’s remain vigilant in our efforts to slow and reduce the spread of this virus.”
J. Warren Robicheaux, CEO of the Matagorda County Hospital District, said while the hospital remains at near capacity, there has been a decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients at the hospital.
“We hope this trend continues, and we’re using this time to prepare for another possible surge
during the upcoming flu season,” Robicheaux said.
The new EOC weekly report is available on the COVID-19 public information page in the “View Report Here” section of the dashboard which can be found at https://www.matagordaregional.org/covid19