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Coronavirus COVID-19 Local News

County’s Former Health Authority Says Comal’s COVID-19 Surge Might Be Peaking

Comal County Public Health Department staff help residents sign up for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Former Comal County Health Authority Dr. Dorothy Overman told readers of her New Braunfels COVID19 Community Info Facebook page there’s both good and bad news about COVID-19.

Posting on Jan. 31 she saId most experts think Comal County is at the peak of the COVID-19 current surge. Numbers are going down in many places but not in Comal County, which lags a little behind surrounding cities.

Here are some of the highlights of Dr. Overman’s post:

Tired of Statistics?

“Everyone is so tired of hearing statistics but we have to look at them to see the trends.

“In the past week Comal County posted an average of over 100 new cases a day. That is a huge number of cases! So we still have a lot of active virus in our community. We would love for it to drop off and hopefully will happen soon.

“Our positivity rate ranged from 25% to 51% on PCR tests. That is crazy! That is the number of positive cases divided by the number of tests over seven days. It is very high and is just another statistic that shows we have much active virus in our community.”

Hospitals Full of COVID-19 Patients

“Our hospitals are staying very full of COVID patients, and ICU beds are very full with patients on ventilators. There is a decrease in Bexar County of hospitalized patients but again we seem to lag behind.

“Comal county reported 14 deaths in the past week.

“Texas is reporting around 400 deaths a day. Unbelievable numbers associated with so much sadness and grief.”

Bad News: Variants

“Coronavirus (there are many of them that cause common colds) in general have mutations (change in genetics)that occur about every 2 weeks.

“COVID-19 has followed this same pattern. So of the over 30 mutations that have already been identified there are three that scientists are worried about (most mutations either die off or don’t really affect anything important). The UK variant is more virulent (meaning more contagious) and has increased fatalities. The South African variant is even more virulent. And now there is a Brazil variant that is winning the race on virulence. Obviously mutations are the survival method for these viruses. They need to infect people to survive.

“So far the current vaccines will work to protect us but research and development of new vaccines is ongoing to keep ahead of the mutations.”

Reality Check

“When will this Pandemic subside?

“Reality check. It will likely be two to three years to achieve herd immunity. It will take that long to immunize enough people and for enough people who have had infection to be immune. The virus will not be gone but at a much lower level of cases. We can hope for mutations that make it less virulent and less fatal.

Good news: We can fix this

“We know how to stay safe. Masks, hand washing, and social distancing.

“We have research and experience now about outpatient and inpatient treatment that is saving lives. Do not just get a test.

“Call your medical provider for advice on Vitamins C and D, Zinc. Melatonin and Pepcid. There are prescription medications depending on your symptoms and risk factors. If you are over 65 or have risk factors like obesity, diabetes, heart, lung, or kidney disease or immune suppression then you need infusion of monoclonal antibodies. This is for outpatients and should be done as soon as possible after diagnosis.

“Waiting for symptoms to get worse is not the right course for this virus!

Vaccines — Hang on!

“Vaccines are part of the good news. It’s like winning the lottery to get one. Hang on and be patient. There are more coming. Very frustrating for those trying to get one. Follow Comal County Facebook and website. The county will be getting the most vaccine. But places like HEB and Walgreens and other pharmacies will be getting more. Private offices are in the dark about if or when or how much vaccine will come to our offices. We just have to wait until it arrives to be sure it is in hand.

“Checking online is best. Calling our offices is still causing overload of phone lines. Enough! Hang in there and keep staying safe!”

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