Epidemiology of the 2020 Pandemic of COVID-19 in the State of Texas: The First Month of Community Spread

Swapnil Khose, Justin Xavier Moore, Henry E. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The pandemic of novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is currently spreading rapidly across the United States. We provide a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 epidemiology across the state of Texas, which includes vast rural & vulnerable communities that may be disproportionately impacted by the spread of this new disease. All 254 Texas counties were included in this study. We examined the geographic variation of COVID-19 from March 1 through April 8, 2020 by extracting data on incidence and case fatality from various national and state datasets. We contrasted incidence and case fatality rates by county-level demographic and healthcare resource factors. Counties which are part of metropolitan regions, such as Harris and Dallas, experienced the highest total number of confirmed cases. However, the highest incidence rates per 100,000 population were in found in counties of Donley (353.5), Castro (136.4), Matagorda (114.4) and Galveston (93.4). Among counties with greater than 10 cases, the highest CFR were observed in counties of Comal (10.3%), Hockley (10%), Hood (10%), and Castro (9.1%). Counties with the highest CFR (> 10%) had a higher proportion of non-Hispanic Black residents, adults aged 65 and older, and adults smoking, but lower number of ICU beds per 100,000 population, and number of primary care physicians per 1000 population. Although the urban areas of Texas account for the majority of COVID-19 cases, the higher case-fatality rates and low health care capacity in rural areas need attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-701
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • COVID-19
  • Epidemiology
  • Geographic distribution
  • Incidence and case-fatality rates
  • Texas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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