AUSTIN (KXAN) — New cases of the novel coronavirus disease in Central Texas fell last week for the first time since the pandemic started, although we set another new high for COVID-19 deaths. It was the fifth straight week the number of new deaths went up in our area.
|Date||New Cases||New Deaths||New Recoveries|
|Mar 29-Apr 4||376||5||37|
Seventeen people died last week of COVID-19, up from 16 the week prior. But the growth rate of new deaths leveled off. This does not mean we’ve reached the peak in Central Texas, although the first drop in new cases is statistically important. We did see a similar leveling off two weeks ago before new cases and new deaths spiked again last week.
We have confirmed cases in 14 of the 15 counties in our viewing area. Only San Saba County, population of roughly 6,100, does not have a confirmed case. Nine of those 14 counties had new cases last week, although it’s been weeks since we’ve seen new cases in five rural Central Texas counties.
- Llano County – last case reported March 29
- Lee County – last case reported April 2
- Gillespie County – last case reported April 6
- Lampasas County – last case reported April 6
- Mason County – last case reported April 7
Despite fewer cases in some rural areas, COVID-19 continues to spread along the I-35 corridor. On Saturday alone, there were four new deaths in Travis County.
When you hear the daily numbers reported from each county, it can be hard to figure out whether we are doing better or worse than the day before. That’s because the day-to-day data can be volatile when only looking at a small region.
It’s for that reason we are showing the weekly data divided by 7 to get a better look at the growth of the virus and the “curve” on a daily basis.
To better illustrate the volatility and the reason for highlighting the data in the way we did, here is a look at an area graph showing the daily number of new cases and new deaths.
Part of the reason for this volatility is that reporting on the number of new cases tends to drop during the weekends and pick back up again on Monday.
It remains to be seen how reopening the economy will impact these numbers and whether we will see a second wave.