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Coronavirus COVID-19 Local News

County Warns of Spike in COVID-19 Cases, Positivity Rate Now at 20.85%

Comal County Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser says the recent spike in cases and increased positivity rate in the county comes as no surprise during the holiday season. Residents 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 Tuesday and Friday, by appointment only.

Comal County’s COVID-19 case count rose to 5,060 today and Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser said it’s no surprise.

The county reported 76 new COVID-19 cases today and another death, that of a New Braunfels woman in her 70’s who passed away on Dec. 5. Forty-eight of the new cases are confirmed and 28 are probable.

“We are seeing a spike in cases and an increased positivity rate in the county,” Fraser said in a statement today. “This is no surprise. With the holidays, it seems to be the trend statewide and nationally. The Public Health Department would like to remind everyone of the importance of following CDC guideline of wearing a face-covering, social distancing, hand hygiene and staying home when you are sick. These are simple things that we can all do to do our part in protecting ourselves and others in the community.”

The seven-day positivity rate for Tuesday in Comal County is 20.85%.

The county said it now has 612 active cases of the virus. Of those, 38 are hospitalized.  The total number of deceased is 133.

The county also confirmed an additional 54 recoveries from the virus, for a total of 4,316.

On Tuesday, Comal County hospitals reported caring for 44 COVID-19 patients. Of those, 12 are in intensive care and six 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 – 54
North of Canyon Lake – 5
South of Canyon Lake – 4
S. Comal County (Garden Ridge) – 4
Bulverde/Spring Branch – 9
Fair Oaks – 0

Age Range of New Cases

Under 20 – 13
20’s – 7
30’s/40’s – 19
50’s/60’s – 18
70 and older – 19

Testing Information

As of Tuesday morning, Public Health reports

  • 37,664 tests conducted
  • 3,514 confirmed cases
  • 1,542 probable cases
  • 4 suspect cases

Location Breakdown of All Cases

Of the 5,060 confirmed-and-probable COVID-19 cases, the location breakdown is:

New Braunfels (includes Eastern and Central Comal) – 3,640
Western Comal County (includes Bulverde and Spring Branch) – 786
South of Canyon Lake – 269
North of Canyon Lake – 182
Southern Comal County (includes Garden Ride and Schertz) – 163
Fair Oaks Ranch – 20

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 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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