HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After weeks of rising positivity rates of COVID-19, the numbers seem to be heading in the right direction.
Earlier this month, Mayor Sylvester Turner set a challenge for Houstonians heading into August to lower the rate from 23% to 5%.
SEE RELATED STORY: Houston mayor sets positivity rate challenge: lower it from 23% to 5% or below
Despite the news from local leaders about the decreased rates, it doesn't signify that the virus is close to being gone.
SEE RELATED STORY: Mayor Turner on COVID-19 in Houston: 'We need to crush that curve'
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported the greater Houston area was at a 16.8% positivity rate last month, compared to 8.6% rate last week. Positivity rates are factored based on the number of positive cases compared to the number of COVID-19 tests conducted.
Last month, the number of new cases was a little over 1,800 per day. Last week, the new case total dropped to around 1,700. On Monday, 641 new cases were reported.
Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department talked about the rates and the hospitals in the city at a Wednesday press conference.
"This hospital situation continues to improve and the number of patients being admitted per day on average who have a COVID-19 diagnosis continues to drop," said Persse. "Therefore, in concert with that, the number of patients in the hospital that have COVID-19 is also falling, and probably most importantly, the percentage of folks that are in the ICU continues to decline at a fairly steady pace."
SEE RELATED STORY: ICUs remain busy despite drop in hospitalizations
Health officials still urge people to get tested for the virus, even if there are no signs of symptoms.
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COVID-19 positivity rate sees downward trend
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