A 46th McLennan County resident has died because of COVID-19, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District reported Saturday.
A 66-year-old Hispanic woman is the most recent resident whose death is attributed to the disease.
All but nine of the deaths have come since the start of last month, after the county saw a sharp increase in the spread of the novel coronavirus starting in mid-June. Local officials have said that spike has started to stabilize, with daily new case counts averaging in the high double-digits rather than triple digits. The health district reported 79 newly confirmed cases Saturday, bringing the total to 4,405.
The county’s rate of all tests coming back positive remains high, at about 16% as of Thursday, on a rolling 7-day average basis, but it is down from a peak of 23% in mid-July. The rate was at less than 1% for most of May and in early June. The statewide rate stood at 12% as of Friday, down from a peak of more than 17% in mid-July.
Waco hospitals were treating 74 patients with COVID-19 as of Saturday, including 16 who were on ventilators.
Demographic information about the people dying because of COVID-19 locally continues to show racial disparity. Of the 46 residents of the county whose deaths have been attributed to the disease, 13, or almost 28.3%, were Black; 13, or 28.3%, were Hispanic; and 20, or almost 43.5%, were white.
McLennan County’s population is about 260,000 people. About 55.4% are white, 14.8% are Black and 27% are Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
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