SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - As Smith County officials announced a new total of 88 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, we also heard for the first time about the number of patients who have recovered from the virus.
“I’m pleased to announce that so far we’ve talked to 30 individuals who had a positive test for COVID-19 between March 11 and March 31,” said George Roberts, CEO of NET Health. “Of these 30, 23 individuals or 77% of the individuals contacted met the definition of recovery."
Determining that 23 Smith County patients have recovered from the virus is not an easy process, according to health officials. Unlike tracking positive cases of COVID-19, this process does not involve testing to determine results. Instead, NET Health has decided on two requirements a patient must meet to be considered recovered.
“Our first definition is that there have been at least 14 days since the onset of symptoms,” Roberts said. “This includes fever, cough, and shortness of breath. For individuals who have not been in a healthcare setting or those who have not been hospitalized, it’s determined when at least 8 days have passed since the resolution of fever without fever reducers and when there is improvement in respiratory symptoms."
Roberts said ultimately recovery is something determined between a patient and a doctor, especially when determining dates to resume normal activities and go back to work.
According to NET Health, recovery numbers for other counties would have to be released by local officials. Roberts said Gregg County officials are currently discussing releasing numbers for their county.