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As of Thursday afternoon, Jan. 13, the active COVID-19 case count in Ellis County hit a new all-time high of 5,162 in the third surge for the novel coronavirus.

This surge comes amidst the spread of covid’s more contagious variant, omicron, in the county.

Health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated as the best protection against covid.

Hospitalizations saw 72 reported Thursday, Jan. 13. That number had been as low as 10 on Dec. 6.

Ellis County’s death count is at 500 since the pandemic’s onset in March 2020. The active case and death counts are reported on the Texas Department of State Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard, with the county reporting hospitalizations on its website.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported by Ellis County on March 17, 2020, with the active case count peaking at about 1,340 on Jan. 15, 2021 (first surge). By late June, the county’s active case had dipped into the 50s before a second, summer surge saw a high of 924 active cases reported Sept. 3, 2021. The number of active cases then dropped to a low of 94 on Nov. 8, before again starting to increase.

As of Jan. 13, the DSHS data dashboard showed the following data for Ellis County:

• Confirmed cases to date – 31,620

• Probable cases to date – 8,873

• Fatalities to date – 500

• Active cases – 5,162

• Recoveries to date – 34,860

Total tests to date – 332,169

Ellis County hospital data (updated Jan. 13):

• Total bed count: 235

• Total beds occupied: 212

• Total ICU bed count – 15 (typically at 18)

• Total ICU occupied – 15

• COVID-19 patients in the ICU – 10

• COVID-19 patients in MedSurg – 62

Waxahachie ISD showed 374 active cases on its Thursday, Jan. 13, report, with all but four campuses reporting less than 4% of a combined student and staff population as active cases.

The four campuses – Felty Elementary, Marvin Elementary, Turner Pre-Kindergarteen Academy and Finley Junior High – are at the district’s second level of active cases (4-7% of student/staff population), with additional safety measures put  into place. Non-campus staff are reporting a 4.4% infection rate, with 11 out of 250 employees with an active covid case. The district had reported 15 cases going into the winter break, Dec. 17.

According to the nonprofit Covid Act Now, Ellis County remains below the state average in the number of fully vaccinated people: 50.6% vs. 57.6%.

Here is Ellis County’s comparison to the state average in three key metrics as of Jan. 13:

• daily new cases – 199 per 100K vs. 180.9 per 100K

• infection rate – 1.49 vs. 1.5

• positive test rate – 43% vs. 36.3%

Covid Act Now lists both Ellis County and Texas as “severe” risk (the highest level) on its vulnerability level. The Covid Act Now dashboard is online at https://covidactnow.org/.

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

The county’s hospitalization data is online at https://www.co.ellis.tx.us. Also available on the county’s website is information on where to obtain a covid test.

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