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County Sees No Increase in Vaccinations as COVID-19 Numbers, Deaths Rise

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County Sees No Increase in Vaccinations as COVID-19 Numbers, Deaths Rise

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A Comal County resident receives the Moderna vaccine at a May 18 mass-vaccination clinic sponsored by Comal County. Residents who wish to be tested or vaccinated for COVID-19 should call Comal County's Public Health Office at 830-221-1150. Image courtesy of Comal County.

Comal County residents are in no hurry to get fully immunized this week despite recent increases in COVID-19 case counts and deaths, and a warning last week from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to “get vaxxed” as the Delta variant spreads rapidly throughout the state.

Public Information Officer Cary Zayas said Public Health reports no increase in the number of appointments this week.

“There are very few scheduled this week,” she said.

According to DSHS, 53.37% of Comal County residents ages 12 and older are fully immunized, and 60.49% have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Of those 65 and older, 88.34% have received at least one dose and 80.58% are fully vaccinated.

DSHS reports today that 51.48 per cent of Texans ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 59.54% of Texans are vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of those 65 and older, 74.49% are fully vaccinated and 82.50% have received one dose.

As of July 20 there are 11,888 confirmed-and-probable COVID-19 cases and 334 deaths from the virus in Comal County. On July 1, the county reported 11,363 cases and 325 deaths. Statewide, DSHS on July 16 reported a 76-percent increase in cases over one week earlier and a 30% increase in hospitalizations. Fatalities increased by 10%.

“COVID-19 is increasing in Texas,” DSHS said on Twitter July 16. “Rises in variants, including Delta, have led to surges in cases and hospitalizations. Unvaccinated are at greatest risk. COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection against severe illness from the virus.”

County Reports 42 New Cases

In a statement issued today, the county reported 42 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths. These numbers include weekend data as well.

Two New Braunfels residents died at New Braunfels hospitals earlier this month, Zayas said. A man in his 70s passed away on July 11 and a woman in her 70s died on July 5. The total number of deceased now stands at 334.

Twenty-three of the new cases are confirmed and 19 are probable cases. There are 378 active, confirmed-and-probable cases in the county today. Of those, 18 residents are hospitalized.

Another 85 COVID-19 recoveries were reported, for a total of 11,176.

The seven-day molecular positivity rate fell from 8.23% Monday to 6.95%. The seven-day antigen positivity rate also dropped from 8.13%. to 7.22%. The TSA P percentage is 4.55%.

Also today, Comal County hospitals reported caring for 35 COVID-19 patients. Of those, nine are in intensive care and three are on ventilators. Not all of these patients are necessarily county residents. Not all county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 are in Comal County hospitals.

Zayas said there are no confirmed cases of the highly contagious Delta variant in the Comal County. It can take DSHS up to six weeks to test for variants and release that information to counties.

Sunday, the Texas Tribune reported Texas’s positivity rate is over 10%, identified as a “red flag” by state and federal officials. Although COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations continue to rise, they are still below winter peaks, the newspaper said.

Location Breakdown of New Cases

  • New Braunfels – 31
  • North of Canyon Lake – 2
  • South of Canyon Lake – 3
  • South Comal County (Garden Ridge) – 6
  • Bulverde/Spring Branch – 0
  • Fair Oaks – 0

Age Range of New Cases

  • Under 20 – 9
  • 20s – 5
  • 30’s/40’s – 11
  • 50s/60s – 13
  • 70 and older – 4

Testing Information

As of this morning, Public Health reports

  • 117,299 tests conducted
  • 6,385 confirmed cases
  • 5,479 probable cases
  • 24 suspect cases

Location Breakdown of All Cases

Of the 11,888 confirmed-and-probable COVID-19 cases in Comal County, the location breakdown is:

  • New Braunfels (includes Eastern and Central Comal) – 8,450
  • Western Comal County (includes Bulverde and Spring Branch) – 1,701
  • South of Canyon Lake – 685
  • North of Canyon Lake – 574
  • Southern Comal County (includes Garden Ridge and Schertz) – 423
  • Fair Oaks Ranch – 55

Vaccinations

Comal County’s Public Health Department is now administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to those 18 years and older on Fridays and Pfizer vaccines for anyone 12 years and older on Thursdays.

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 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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