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Comal County Confirms Two Cases of UK Variant of COVID-19, Reports 114 New Cases

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Comal County Confirms Two Cases of UK Variant of COVID-19, Reports 114 New Cases

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Comal County Epidemiologist Connie Alaniz warns the UK variant of COVID-19, which was confirmed in two area residents, is much more contagious than the current strain infecting Americans. Visit Comal County's Facebook page to watch a video she recorded today. Those wishing to be tested for COVID-19 can call Comal County's dedicated hotline, 830-221-1120 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment. Testing is only done on Tuesdays and Fridays, by appointment only.

Comal County said two of the 114 new cases of COVID-19 it reported today are of a United Kingdom (UK) variant called B.1.1.7.

The variant spreads more easily and more quickly than others, Comal County director of Public Health Cheryl Fraser said in a statement.

“This is the first report of variant strains found in Comal County residents,” she said. “We received this information from (Texas) Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Not every specimen is strain-typed, but samples are randomly being selected and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for surveillance purposes. Public Health continues to work with the CDC and DSHS to monitor this closely.”

Of the 114 new cases, 74 are confirmed and 37 are probable cases of the virus. Three of the cases are suspect. Two of the confirmed cases are the UK variant.

The Comal County COVID-19 vaccine standby list remains closed. Residents who meet the criteria for Phase 1A and Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan can check the county’s website, mycomalcounty.com and Facebook page for updates. Vaccines will be distributed to the public as they are received by the county and in accordance with all state distribution guidelines.

The county now has 622 active, confirmed-and-probable cases of COVID-19. Of those, 73 are hospitalized.

The seven-day molecular positivity rate is 58.83%. The seven-day antigen positivity rate is 7.6%. Trauma Service Area P (TSAP) — which includes Comal County — is at 14.99%.

Businesses now operating at 50% capacity may reopen at 75% capacity if the TSAP stays below the 15% mark for seven consecutive business days.

On Wednesday, Comal County hospitals reported caring for 54 COVID-19 patients. Of those, 23 are in intensive care and 19 are on ventilators. Not all of these patients are necessarily county residents. Not all county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 are in county hospitals.

Location Breakdown of New Cases

New Braunfels – 77
North of Canyon Lake – 4
South of Canyon Lake – 8
S. Comal County (Garden Ridge) – 6
Bulverde/Spring Branch – 19
Fair Oaks – 0

Age Range of New Cases

Under 20 – 17
20’s – 17
30’s/40’s – 39
50s/60s – 35
70 and older – 6

Testing Information

As of Wednesday morning, Public Health reports

  • 63,700 tests conducted
  • 4,554 confirmed cases
  • 4,112 probable cases
  • 19 suspect cases

Location Breakdown of All Cases

Of the 8,685 confirmed-and-probable COVID-19 cases, the location breakdown is:

New Braunfels (includes Eastern and Central Comal) – 6,309
Western Comal County (includes Bulverde and Spring Branch) – 1,220
South of Canyon Lake – 481
North of Canyon Lake – 370
Southern Comal County (includes Garden Ridge and Schertz) – 266
Fair Oaks Ranch – 39

Probable Cases

“Probable case” is a category established by the Texas Department of State Health Services to describe those who do not have a positive PCR test for COVID-19 but meet two of the three criteria:

  • Meets clinical criteria and epidemiologic linkage with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for SARS-CoV-2.
  • Meets presumptive laboratory evidence, which is the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by antigen test in a respiratory specimen.
  • Meets vital records criteria with no confirmatory laboratory evidence for SARS-CoV-2.

A probable case is treated identically to a confirmed case and counts toward the county’s positivity rate and total case tally.

Suspected Cases

A ‘suspect’ case meets supportive laboratory evidence with no prior history of being a confirmed or probable case. It is also counted towards the total case tally. Supportive laboratory evidence means:

  • Detection of specific antibody in serum, plasma, or whole blood.
  • Detection of specific antigen by immunocytochemistry in an autopsy specimen.

 

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