County Says It’s Investigating Local Outbreaks, Reports 228 New COVID-19 Cases
Comal County Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser told Commissioners Court today her office is sorting through “piles and piles of positives” to report while investigating COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
Local hospitals are “still very stressed” and it’s difficult to tell exactly how many hospitalized patients are vaccinated against COVID-19 because visitors are not allowed in and some patients can’t talk or are intubated, she said.
Some 59.12% of Comal County residents ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated compared to 58.6% of Texans.
“Our main focus is still to vaccinate the unvaccinated,” she said.
The county reported 228 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths today.
- A New Braunfels man in his 70s who passed away Monday at a New Braunfels hospital.
- A Fischer man in his 70s who passed away Sunday at a New Braunfels hospital.
The total number of deceased is now 389.
Of the new cases reported today, 140 are confirmed and 88 are probable cases. Another 80 COVID recoveries were added, for a total of 14,906 since reporting began in March 2020.
In a statement, Public Information Officer Cary Zayas said there are now 1,312 active, confirmed-and-probable cases of the virus. Of those, 23 are hospitalized.
County hospitals are caring for 73 COVID-19 patients. Twenty-three of them are in intensive care and 14 are on ventilators.
Approximately 95% of these patients are unvaccinated.
Not all patients in Comal County hospitals are necessarily county residents. Not all county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 are in Comal County hospitals.
The seven-day molecular positivity rate is 11.76%, and the seven-day antigen positivity rate is 7.12%. The TSA P percentage is 18.73%.
Location Breakdown of New Cases
- New Braunfels – 120
- North of Canyon Lake – 18
- South of Canyon Lake – 25
- South Comal County (Garden Ridge) – 8
- Bulverde/Spring Branch – 56
- Fair Oaks – 1
Age Range of New Cases
- Under 20 – 83
- 20s – 35
- 30’s/40’s – 62
- 50s/60s – 40
- 70 and older – 8
As of Thursday morning, Public Health reports
- 156,957 tests conducted
- 9,397 confirmed cases
- 7,186 probable cases
- 24 suspect cases
Location Breakdown of All Cases
Of the 16,607 confirmed-and-probable COVID-19 cases in Comal County, the location breakdown is:
- New Braunfels (includes Eastern and Central Comal) – 11,346
- Western Comal County (includes Bulverde and Spring Branch) – 2,574
- South of Canyon Lake – 1,113
- North of Canyon Lake – 929
- Southern Comal County (includes Garden Ridge and Schertz) – 569
- Fair Oaks Ranch – 76
Comal County’s Public Health Department is now administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to those 18 years and older and Pfizer vaccines for anyone 12 years and older.
This includes a third dose of either vaccine for anyone who is moderately to severely immunocompromised.
“COVID numbers are at an all-time high and getting vaccinated is still our best shield against the virus,” Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser said in a statement Aug. 30. “We encourage those who have not received the vaccine to consider it. Individuals who are immunocompromised and qualify for the third dose are now eligible to receive it. The hospitals are finding that most of the COVID patients are unvaccinated and very ill.”
People who meet the following criteria are now eligible for a third dose of Moderna or Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least four weeks after a second dose:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes).
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune system.
Those who received either a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series should receive a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine. No additional doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine are currently recommended.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
“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.
A ‘suspect’ case meets supportive laboratory evidence with no prior history of being a confirmed or probable case. It is also counted toward the total case tally. Supportive laboratory evidence means:
- Detection of a specific antibody in serum, plasma, or whole blood.
- Detection of specific antigen by immunocytochemistry in an autopsy specimen.
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