Epidemiology Investigation

As of today, July 14th, Victoria County is nearing the 2,000 mark for total cases of COVID-19 in our community, according to the Victoria Public Health Department. There were 222 new cases reported for Victoria County, July 14th making 1,993 total cases in our community. Sadly, we have also lost 13 residents to the coronavirus to date as well. Our latest fatality was a female Victoria resident in her 70’s. She had been hospitalized for COVID-19 prior to her passing.

You can get details for the latest COVID numbers every evening from the Victoria County Public Health Department’s Facebook page here.

So why do the numbers not always add up?

David Gonzales, Director for the Victoria Public Health Department, offers the explanation, but also some education as well.

First understand that the Victoria Public Health Department receives positive test results daily from hospitals and labs throughout Victoria County, not just from a single source. To also be noted, they only receive positive test results.

When you are tested you are required to present a valid driver’s license or other forms of valid identification.

“Test result numbers can vary, depending on “epidemiology investigations.” David resolves. Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why. Epidemiology reports for COVID in our community also include phone numbers and addresses of those who receive a positive report so that an epidemiology investigation can be completed.

David offers, “As we receive those positive test results, they are immediately entered into our data system, tallied and posted on our Facebook page for the community usually by 6 pm daily. When there were 5 to 10 cases a day, the investigations were easier. We could call and verify all data information that day.” David offers.

“Now for instance, when you read on our Facebook page that there were 222 new positive cases today, this means exactly 222 positive cases came in from labs and hospitals for the day. We then have to contact each of those cases, sometimes phone numbers have changed as well as addresses. If addresses are incorrect this changes our total numbers, on occasion labs send multiple results. Those are just two ways our numbers can change daily." David says.

Simultaneously, the Victoria Public Health Department is contacting those that have tested positive to research the origin of infection and also calling hospitals and patients daily for recovery numbers as well.

 

David offered that they have a plan in place to work with the state for more assistance, but with rising numbers throughout Texas, more assistance is needed for many counties, not just Victoria. Seemingly every public health department throughout Texas is spread thin.

Still, David assures Victorians that the Victoria Public Health Department works together within their department, our health care community, and our citizens, daily to bring the most accurate and up to date information they can offer to our community every day.

If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, and you develop a fever or other related symptoms like loss of taste, please call your health provider for medical advice.

If you have questions about COVID-19 feel free to call the hotline at 361.580.5796.

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