The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has announced the largest COVID-19 case increase since the beginning of the pandemic on July 8th, 2020. Health officials announced 393 new positive cases along with five new deaths. That now brings the total number of deaths to 144 across the county.

Officials say they are looking into the latest spike in cases to find the source of the exposure, but initial reports indicate the majority of the new cases are likely due to community spread.

With so many numbers being thrown at us, it's hard to figure out which ones are the numbers we should be paying attention to. We all know that an increase in testing means an increase in positive cases being seen, but the significant jumps we are seeing are alarming.

The number of tests available are limited now, which means almost the same amount of tests are being used daily, and we are still seeing the number of positive cases increasing. That's also why so many people are being turned away at testing sites.

There aren't enough tests to be testing everyone all day.

More than 40% of those testing positive are people in their 20s or 30s. In the City of El Paso over half of the population is people between the ages of 18 and 65 according to the US Census.

On top of all of this, 1 in 5 of the people being tested are asymptomatic which means they could be going about their normal routine, unknowingly infecting others.

The first significant spike was seen back on May 14th, when 151 positive cases were reported by the Health Department. On May 12th and 13th we saw only 65 and 43 cases reported respectively. On May 11th, a relatively minuscule 8 positive cases were reported. Now, we have reported triple-digit numbers in El Paso since June 23rd. The smallest amount since then was reported on June 27th when 113 positive cases were reported. Today, we hit the highest number recorded with almost 400 positive cases.

While many are saying the mortality rate is low and that's a good thing, the hospitalizations are the real problem. COVID patients are filling up the hospital beds in Texas, especially ICU beds.

Currently, there are 75 COVID patients in the ICU, with 234 staffed ICU beds. While we are hearing only 31.5% of the ICU beds are being used, that's only the amount being used by COVID patients. Hospitals still have the normal ICU patients to deal with and those numbers haven't been released.

The lesson of this numbers rant is simple, try and do your part to help stop the spread of the pandemic. Wear a face mask, wash your hands often, and try to stay home as much as possible. If you're feeling sick, get tested, and stay home. If these numbers continue to go up, I don't think the numbers will add up to anything good for the city, state, or country. For more information, visit the City of El Paso website.

Download The 600 ESPN El Paso Mobile App