It seems longer ago, but a little more than a year has gone by since March 4, 2020, when the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and Fort Bend County Health and Human Services reported the first positive test result for COVID-19 in Texas. About two weeks later, on March 17, 2020, DSHS confirmed the state's first known coronavirus-related death when it reported that a Matagorda County man in his 90s had died of COVID-19.
Cancellations, closures, layoffs, and county and state declarations of emergency followed — as did somberness, illness and death. Over the past year, DSHS has confirmed about 2.4 million cases and more than 46,000 deaths. More than a half-million people have died nationally.
Some Texas counties have been hit harder over the past year than others, but none has been spared. A summer surge peaked in mid-July. By mid-September it appeared the worst was over, but another more menacing, deadlier surge began enveloping the state in October and continued into 2021.
Texas has entered its second year of the coronavirus pandemic with hope on the horizon. The number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths has been falling since January. And a vaccination program has brought the possibility that by the time March 2022 rolls around, the pandemic will no longer be a part of our present, but of our past.