Comal County’s Decrease in COVID-19 Cases Is Deceptive, Former Health Authority Warns
COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations are trending downward in Comal County, but former Comal County Health Authority Dr. Dorothy Overman, a family practitioner with Christus Trinity Clinic Hill Country in New Braunfels, warns residents not to be deceived.
Local, county and state methods for reporting cases have changed, causing delays in getting accurate numbers of reported cases, she said. Her practice sees cases everyweek.
But the biggest reason for inaccurate numbers is that so many people are using home tests to self-diagnose cases of COVID-19.
“None of those get reported,” Overman posted on New Braunfels COVID19 Community Info, a popular Facebook page she started at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Get ready as it is going to be back,” she said. “Europe is having big surges in countries that are vaccinated. Looking at Europe, the countries with lower numbers of COVID vaccinations are faring worse. U.S.A. numbers had been declining but then went into a plateau and now are beginning to climb. Texas numbers have been declining, but San Antonio just reported higher numbers for the past week.
“The pattern for each of our local surges has been Europe goes up, then the United States goes up, then Texas and our surrounding larger cities go up, and then Comal County begins its surge,” Overman said. “Coronavirus flourishes in cold weather. Europe is already into colder seasons, and in the United States the states with some large increases are in the north and much colder than Texas.
“Gathering indoors will increase cases,” she said. “Most of Wurstfest is outdoors/open-air but did bring thousands of people together. I am glad we were at low numbers at that time.
“My advice has not changed,” Overman said. “Get vaccinated and continue to be careful indoors with crowds. If you have symptoms, get tested, and if positive, get treatment.”
ABOUT DR. OVERMAN
Dr. Dorothy Overman served as Comal County’s health authority for over 25 years and became the area’s most trusted source for information about COVID-19. She stepped down in November 2020 due to workload in her family practice, Hill Country Medical Associates, now Christus Trinity Clinic.
As a consultant to the county, she worked with the Office of Public Health and Texas Department of State Health Services on diseases affecting the community, disease prevention, public education, sheltering of evacuees and disaster preparedness.
She posts regular updates about COVID-19 in Comal County on her Facebook page, New Braunfels COVID19 Community Info, where this article first appeared.