Confirmed cases of the coronavirus Nacogdoches County went up by five on Thursday, according to information posted by the Texas Health and Human Services.

After months of trying to match up data provided to the county with that posted on the state website, local emergency management personnel last week opted to shift to using state numbers in order to pass on more timely information to residents.

“The information posted is not our information; it is from the State of Texas,” County Judge Greg Sowell said Tuesday during an update on the pandemic. “At one point our active cases went from 102 to 170 and then back down to 90. How this happens, we have no idea. There’s no one in any entity of emergency management that is trying to deceive anyone — we were as confused as everyone else was.”

Active cases — those testing positive and considered contagious — fell to 83 on Thursday as more cases were presumed to be recovered. Fatalities remained at 54.

According to the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council, 19 of those cases were hospitalized as of Thursday, with nine being treated in intensive care.

Case numbers for the county don’t necessarily include SFA students, since cases are reported by the state based on a patient’s permanent address.

“All of our numbers reported by the state have to do with people who have a home address in Nacogdoches County,” Sowell said. “We had people in hospitals here being treated for COVID who were not on our count because they live in Shelby or Sabine county.”

On the SFA campus, 15 students living on campus who tested positive are in isolated spaces, the university’s website reports. Among 118 students, faculty and staff who have tested positive for the virus since the university began reporting cases July 23, 50 remain active.

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