AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN is keeping track of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by aggregating data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and local and county health departments. Click here for data specific to Central Texas.
Where have cases been reported?
The state’s first case of COVID-19 was reported March 4, 2020, in Fort Bend County. Texas reports totals for two kinds of cases: confirmed and probable. A confirmed case is a person who has tested positive on a molecular test. A probable case is a person who has tested positive on an antigen test, or someone who has a combination of symptoms and known exposure to someone with COVID-19.
Harris County has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19. When adjusted for population though, other counties rise to the top, notably Dimmit, Childress, Hale, Maverick and Lamb Counties. The map above shows the rate of cases per 1,000 people, using July 2019 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Where have deaths been reported?
Texas identifies COVID-19 deaths using the cause of death listed on death certificates. The total number of deaths does not include people who had COVID-19 but died from an unrelated cause. The state’s first COVID-19-related death was reported March 16, 2020, in Matagorda County.
How many people have been vaccinated?
The first vaccines in Texas were administered on December 14, 2020. DSHS only counts people aged 16 and older when determining the coverage rate. The map below shows the percentage of Texans in each county that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
KXAN is also keeping track of vaccination rates in each zip code across Texas. Click here to explore the data using our interactive map.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for a person to be fully vaccinated. People who have taken one dose are considered partially vaccinated. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose, so people who take that vaccine are automatically considered fully vaccinated.
The chart below shows the number of vaccine doses administered each day across Texas.
How has the number of cases changed over time?
KXAN is keeping track of the daily increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths across Texas. The highest daily jump in cases occurred on December 29, 2020, when 26,990 new cases were added to the state’s total.
The largest increase in deaths in a single day occurred on January 28, 2021, when 471 new deaths were reported.
The chart below shows the lag time between when COVID-19 deaths occur and when they are reported by the state. The light red line shows the number of deaths over time using the date of death. The dark red line shows when those deaths were actually reported.
How many people are in the hospital?
DSHS reports hospitalization data a day late. Texas hit a peak of 14,218 COVID-19 hospitalizations on January 11, 2021. The chart below shows how the number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 has changed throughout the pandemic.
How many people have recovered?
Texas uses a formula to estimate when people recover from COVID-19. DSHS estimates that 80 percent of cases do not require hospitalization and recover after 14 days. For the remaining 20 percent of cases, the state assumes they do require hospitalization and recover after 32 days. Both confirmed and probable cases are included when calculating recoveries and active cases.
How many people have been tested?
The State of Texas is reporting numbers for three different types of tests:
- Molecular: These are used to determine whether someone is currently infected with COVID-19. If you test positive in a molecular test, you are counted as a “confirmed” case.
- Antigen: This test is a nasal swab that also determines whether someone is currently infected. They are sometimes referred to as rapid tests, because the results can come back in as little as 15 minutes. If you test positive in an antigen test, you are considered a “probable” case but not a “confirmed” case.
- Antibody: This type of test determines whether someone was previously infected. It’s a blood test that looks for proteins that the body creates to fight an infection. If you test positive in an antibody test, you are not considered a “confirmed” or “probable” case.
DSHS reports what it calls the “Specimen Collection Date Positivity Rate.” This measures the percent of tests that are positive. The state calculates the rates based on when tests are performed, not when the results are reported. Because of this, the rates fluctuate as DSHS retroactively updates new data it receives.
What factors are affecting the data?
KXAN is also keeping track of various factors, anomalies and errors affecting the data. Click here for the full list.