COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region, as well as new cases of the coronavirus appear to be on the decline as local officials work to restart vaccinations clinics.

Trendlines released Tuesday depict moving averages over seven, 14 and 21 days in Nacogdoches County. All three now show new cases averaging fewer than 10 per day.

Hospitalization rates in the area are also falling. Trauma Service Area H, a seven-county region that includes Nacogdoches, one week ago reached seven consecutive days with COVID-19 hospitalization rates below 15% — a first since mid-December. Hospitalization rates must remain below this threshold for businesses to expand capacity, according to the governor’s orders.

“Businesses can open back up to 75%. Our hospitals are allowed to start back with elective surgeries,” Nacogdoches County Emergency Management Office spokeswoman Jessica Sowell said.

Since then, the hospitalization rate for the region rose above 15% only once, reaching 15.14% on Friday. Trauma Service Area H also includes Angelina, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto and Tyler counties.

Vaccine clinics that were canceled last week due to weather and utility outages are being rescheduled, she said.

“Vaccines are distributed through the hospitals with the help of the city and county and individual doctors scheduling their patients,” Sowell said. “We don’t have a master list; doctors can sign up through an online portal where they can receive vaccine allotment. They sign up and contact their patients because they know who is in most need of those vaccines.”

Two more COVID-10 patients died this week, bringing the death toll in Nacogdoches County to 143.

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