A Comal County resident who has tested positive for the coronavirus is being hospitalized outside the county, officials said Monday morning.
The positive test for the virus marks the fourth case in Comal County. In neighboring counties, on Monday afternoon Hays County reported seven cases while Guadalupe County picked up its second positive on Sunday and two more Monday.
Previously county officials haven’t released much information about the positive cases, but on Monday they released the geographic area or cities they were from as well as their age ranges.
Among the four cases, one is in their 20s, one in their 40s, one in their 60s and one in their 80s. One lives in the city of New Braunfels, two live in eastern Comal County, and one lives south of Canyon Lake.
“We had the map for aggregating case information in the works for some time, knowing we’d eventually need something like that, and it became clear Friday we would need it this week because we saw positive cases starting to pick up,” Paul Anthony, county public information officer said.
Anthony said Comal County wanted to do what it could to preserve patients’ privacy and that there was no standard in the information that was being released.
“Other counties varied quite a bit in how much demographic information they were releasing — from none at all (Travis) to city only (Hays) to sex, age range and location (Harris) — so we chose to be conservative with the information we released until we had a handful of patients where it would be a little harder to be able to try to identify one of them with the demographic data.”
Comal County Judge Sherman Krause said that some of the information required additional work to make it releasable to the public.
“The information we’ve been releasing about coronavirus testing — it’s not like we get a piece of paper saying ‘it’s positive’ on it,” he said. “A lot of information is pages long and we have to go through it and decipher it to make sure (the information) is not confidential or protected.”
Comal County health officials said the fourth confirmed case is travel-related and was confirmed late Sunday.
That makes three of the four cases travel-related — meaning the patient became symptomatic immediately after returning from travel outside South Central Texas, official said.
The one remaining case can’t be confirmed as travel-related.
Public officials have asked people to follow CDC guidelines and maintain social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Social distancing works because it limits the number of people a virus can infect before it dies out, but it requires all of us working together as a community,” Anthony said. “It’s not just about keeping ourselves and our families safe, but it’s also about helping protect the most vulnerable residents of our county who might be at greater risk if they contract COVID-19 than you or I might be.”
As of Sunday night, Comal County had received reports of 51 tests conducted, including the four positive results. Several results are still pending.
The county released a map of the cases online at https://www.co.comal.tx.us/covid19/MAP.JPG and it will be updated each afternoon, as events warrant.
Residents with questions or concerns about the novel coronavirus can call the county’s dedicated COVID-19 hotline, 830-221-1120, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.