Wharton County residents are getting better. That’s a fact, officials say, but add that hundreds are not recovering from COVID-19 in just a few days, nor are several dying in the same time period.

The quickly changing report numbers instead indicate Department of State Health Services officials are finally catching up on the data.

“Look at the deaths (for example) ... these are definitely over a two-and-a-half month period,” Wharton County Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Kirkland said Monday.

County data reports 39 COVID-19 fatalities among Wharton County residents. The state, however, puts that number at 48, as of press time.

“I’m still expecting one more big surge of fatalities (as far as the number reported),” Kirkland said.

This doesn’t mean seven to eight people are suddenly going to lose their fights with the virus – they already did, likely weeks if not months ago.

The same is true of the large numbers of recoveries reported in the last week.

“I wish we could find out the date of the test,” Kirkland said.

County reports indicate 66 Wharton County residents are currently infected with the COVID-19 virus still sweeping the globe. The state puts that number at 59.

Although reports vary, all indicate that mitigation efforts are working.

“I think the numbers are down thanks to the good work by the general public, paying attention to wearing masks and disinfecting,” Kirkland said.

A slight rise in cases is likely as the school session continues.

At the same time, flu becomes a concern every fall and winter.

“I think it will be a lighter than normal year,” Kirkland said, adding the masks and sanitization efforts should help.

But there are no guarantees.

“So much of this is unknown ... but we are all more aware and can take proactive steps. We will work with COVID, the regular flu and God knows what else is around the corner,” he said.

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