As of Wednesday evening, Jan. 5, the active COVID-19 case count in Ellis County was 2,746, more than double the highest total reported since the pandemic’s onset. The previous high was 1,340 cases Jan. 15, 2021.
Health officials have confirmed to the Sun that the virus’ more contagious variant, omicron, is quickly spreading in the county. Of samples tested at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Waxahachie over the Christmas weekend, the omicron variant was detected in 91%, with health officials saying they expect that number to go to 100% soon. Unlike its predecessor variant, delta, omicron is not believed to be as severe with its symptoms; however, health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated as the best protection.
Hospitalizations saw 49 reported Tuesday, Jan. 4. As of Dec. 6, the county had reached a low in hospitalizations of 10, with the numbers increasing since.
Ellis County’s death count is at 493 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. By late June, the county’s active case had dipped into the 50s before a 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. 5, the DSHS data dashboard showed the following data for Ellis County:
• Confirmed cases to date – 29,279
• Probable cases to date – 8,193
• Fatalities to date – 493
• Active cases – 2,746
• Recoveries to date – 34,261
Total tests to date – 322,506
Ellis County hospital data (updated Jan. 4):
• Total bed count: 235
• Total beds occupied: 200
• Total ICU bed count – 17 (typically at 18)
• Total ICU occupied – 17
• COVID-19 patients in the ICU – 8
• COVID-19 patients in MedSurg – 41
Waxahachie ISD showed 15 active cases on its Friday, Dec. 17, report, with all campuses reporting zero cases or less than 4% of a combined student and staff population as active cases. WISD is closed for winter break, with students to return to class Thursday, Jan. 6.
According to the nonprofit Covid Act Now, Ellis County remains below the state average in the number of fully vaccinated people: 50.2% vs. 57.2%.
Here is Ellis County’s comparison to the state average in three key metrics as of Jan. 5:
• daily new cases – 137.2 per 100K vs. 55.7 per 100K
• infection rate – 1.7 vs. 1.32
• positive test rate – 36.8% vs. 32%
Covid Act Now lists Ellis County as “severe” risk (the highest level) and the state of Texas as “very high” risk on its vulnerability level. The Covid Act Now dashboard is online at https://covidactnow.org/.
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.