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As of Monday evening, the Texas Department of State Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard continued to report Ellis County with 666 active cases. Concurrently, the county is reporting 130 hospitalizations, with 30 of 36 ICU beds filled with covid patients. (The county’s typical ICU bed count is 18).

The county’s death toll continues to increase and now totals 350 (reported since the pandemic’s onset in March 2020).

On Friday, the county’s local health authority, Dr. Leigh Nordstrom, had issued a statement urging residents to continue heightened health practices amidst the surge of the delta variant, including social distancing, wearing face coverings around others, and getting vaccinated.

Local hospital officials have previously said the increase in numbers since around July 1 is similar to that reported elsewhere in the nation as a result of the coronavirus’ delta variant.

The data also shows that 98-99% of the hospitalizations involve people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. More than half of those hospitalized are younger than age 65.

Elected county officials have not commented to the Sun about the increase in cases seen since the end of June.

Ellis County reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 17, 2020, peaking at about 1,340 active cases Jan. 15, 2021. The county then dropped to below 100 active cases as of April 18, maintaining numbers in the 60-80 range through about June 22, when the numbers dipped further, into the 50s.

As of Aug. 30, the DSHS data dashboard showed the following cumulative data for Ellis County:

• Confirmed cases to date – 21,479

• Probable cases to date – 5,121

• Fatalities to date – 350

• Active cases – 666

• Recoveries to date – 25,855

Total tests to date – 240,649

Ellis County hospital data (as of Aug. 30 per the county’s report):

• Total bed count: 235

• Total beds occupied: 211

• Total ICU bed count – 36 (typically at 18)

• Total ICU occupied – 36

• COVID-19 patients in the ICU – 30

• COVID-19 patients in MedSurg – 100

Waxahachie ISD has reactivated its covid dashboard, with updates made each Friday. The district’s Friday, Aug. 27, report showed:

• 39 employees with active cases

• 226 students with active students

Campus – student cases – staff cases are as follows:

• Clift Elementary – 16 – 5

• Dunaway Elementary – 12 – 1

• Felty Elementary – 8 – 4

• Marvin Elementary – 2 – 0

• Northside Elementary – 5 – 1

• Shackelford Elementary – 3 – 0

• Simpson Elementary – 5 – 0

• Wedgeworth Elementary – 37 – 9

• Wilemon STEAM Academy – 37 – 4

• Turner Pre-K Academy – 1 – 1

• Coleman Junior High – 16 – 5

• Finley Junior High – 17 – 1

• Howard Junior High – 20 – 3

• Waxahachie High School – 45 – 3

• Global High School – 1 – 0

• HS of Choice/Challenge Academy – 1 – 0

• non-campus-based staff – 2

According to the nonprofit Covid Act Now dashboard, Ellis County is below the state average in the number of people fully vaccinated: 39.9% vs. 47.2%.

Here is Ellis County’s comparison to the state average in three key metrics as of Aug. 30:

• daily new cases – 57.7 per 100K vs. 52.8 per 100K

• infection rate – 0.98 vs. 0.99

• positive test rate – 18% vs. 16.2%

Based upon the data, Covid Act Now lists both the state of Texas and Ellis County at “very high” risk, based upon the data. The Covid Act Now data dashboard can be found online at https://covidactnow.org/.

The DSHS data dashboard can be found online at https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/AdditionalData.aspx.

The county’s hospitalization data is available on the county’s website at https://www.co.ellis.tx.us

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