Harris County reports its first Omicron death

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 12/21/21

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has claimed its first Harris County resident.

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Harris County reports its first Omicron death

Posted

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has claimed its first Harris County resident.

The Harris County Public Health Department did not release the name of the man who died Monday, but said he was between 50-60 years old and had previously been infected with COVID-19. He had not been vaccinated and had underlying health conditions, the health department said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the patient’s family, and we extend our deepest sympathies,” Barbie Robinson, the department’s executive director, said in a statement. “This is a reminder of the severity of COVID-19 and its variants. We urge all residents who qualify to get vaccinated and get their booster shot if they have not already.”

Harris County reported its first Omicron-related case Dec. 6. The department said the patient is a woman in her 40s, was fully vaccinated, and had no recent travel history. She has not required hospitalization.

Harris County recently raised its alert level to Stage 2 – Significant, or orange. This level calls for Harris County residents to minimize all contacts unless fully vaccinated.

Fort Bend County reported its first three Omicron-related cases Dec. 9.

The Fort Bend County Health & Human Services said all three individuals were vaccinated with two dosages. They did not report receiving booster shots. They had mild symptoms, and had no recent travel history.

“We have been aware throughout the pandemic that mutations of the original SARS CoV-2 virus would occur,” Dr. Jacquelyn Mintor, Fort Bend County Health & Human Services director, said in a statement. “While the full impact of omicron is not currently known, we do already know how to reduce the spread of any form of SARS CoV-2. We can protect ourselves and those at highest risk by getting vaccinated, including with boosters, staying away from others when we are ill, getting tested when appropriate, and wearing face coverings indoors or at crowded events with close contact.”

As of Monday, the Texas Department of Health & Human Services reported these figures for the three counties that include parts of Katy:

  • Fort Bend County: 91,110 confirmed cases, and 15,467 probable cases. The department said there have been 998 deaths in the county, with an estimated 4,392 active cases and 101,119 recoveries.
  • Harris County: 603,958 confirmed cases, and 2,309 probable cases. The department said there have been 9,678 deaths in the county, with an estimated 19,221 active cases and 577,424 recoveries.
  • Waller County: 5,536 confirmed cases, and 1,275 probable cases. The department said there have been 87 deaths in the county, with an estimated 173 active cases and 6,534 recoveries.

A discrepancy exists between the numbers kept by the state versus the numbers kept by Harris and Fort Bend counties. Fort Bend County said the Texas Department of State Health Services reports cases from the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System database. Earlier this month, the state changed its public dashboard to reflect Texas cases as reported from that database.

Fort Bend County said it had 89,704 cases, with 1,050 deaths and 86,561 recoveries.

“We’re going to make sure that person is a Fort Bend County resident before we report it out,” Rita Obey, a Fort Bend County Health & Human Services spokeswoman, said.

Harris County said it had 596,077 confirmed cases, 12,562 of which are active. The county said there have been 6,711 deaths and 576,768 recoveries. The Harris County Public Health Department and the Houston Health Department track those numbers in the county and city.

A spokeswoman for the Waller County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said the county uses the numbers kept by the state.

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