Comal County added 82 new COVID-19 cases to its numbers on Tuesday morning, a partial reflection of reports that came in over the three-day holiday weekend, officials said.

“These numbers reflect a partial accounting of reports that came in over the three-day holiday weekend,” the county said in a release on Tuesday morning. “The Office of Public Health, which remains short-staffed because of exposure to the coronavirus, today will continue working through reports from this weekend and Monday.”

The new cases push the county’s total confirmed and probable cases of the disease to 989. Of the new cases, 60 are confirmed and 20 are probable. Fifty-four of the new cases are from the New Braunfels area, 17 are from the Bulverde/Spring Branch area, 10 live south of Canyon Lake, and one lives north of Canyon Lake. Thirty are younger than 30, 24 are in their 30s or 40s, 23 are in their 50s or 60s, and five are older than 70.

Comal County’s positivity rate — the percentage of tests with a positive result — is now 12.61%, down slightly from 12.67% on Friday and up from 10.28% one week ago.

Public health experts say the goal is to hold the positivity rate below 6%.

County officials also confirmed 37 more recoveries from the disease, for a total of 338. The county now has 642 active confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases. The county’s hospitalizations declined by four since Friday, leaving 32 hospitalized with the disease. There have been nine COVID-19 deaths, and New Braunfels has one additional death counted in Guadalupe County’s statistics. 

Administrators at the Kirkwood Manor Nursing and Rehab Center say they are working to curb the spread of COVID-19 in that facility after eight residents and five staff recently reported as positive cases.

“We are laser-focused on infection control and are committed to taking all appropriate actions within our control to protect our residents from the adverse effects of the virus,” said Kyle Martin, the Kirkwood Manor’s executive director.

According to Martin, residents with presumed positive or confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnoses are cohorted and separated from those residents who are not presumed or confirmed COVID-19 positive. 

He said COVID-positive residents are receiving recovery-based care from the facility’s clinical team, under the supervision of the residents’ attending physicians and the medical director.

Kirk said the facility’s infection prevention program and related interventions also include frequent hand washing and hand sanitizer use,  enhanced cleaning and sanitizing taking place throughout the facility multiple times throughout the day, suspension of group activities and communal dining, staff wearing masks from the time of entry into the facility through the time they depart at the end of their shift, and staff using full personal protective equipment when caring for known or suspected COVID-19 positive residents.

Also, staff and essential medical professionals are assessed and screened before entering the facility, he said.

Kirk also noted that the facility’s clinical team has implemented an enhanced infection surveillance protocol and is monitoring residents frequently for potential changes in condition.

“As far as communication, we are keeping residents and families up to date as things develop and are likewise available to answer questions or address concerns they may have in the meantime,” he said. “On the issue of testing, we completed the universal testing ordered by Governor Abbott on May 19. Following that, we are working with our county and state health departments as well as private lab services to implement ongoing testing of staff and residents going forward.”

According to the Texas Department of Health State Services, 741 nursing home facilities in the state have reported at least one confirmed resident or staff case of COVID-19. The data also shows that there have been 6,653 cases among residents and 990 fatalities. The agency also reports 2,993 recoveries among nursing home residents.

Three hundred thirteen assisted living facilities in the state have reported at least one confirmed resident or staff case of COVID-19. The data also shows that there have been 847 cases among residents and 151 fatalities. DSHS reports 319 recoveries among assisted living facility residents.

Testing

As of Tuesday morning, Public Health has received reports of 7,845 tests conducted with 750 confirmed cases and 239 probable cases.

Residents wishing to be tested for COVID-19 can call the county’s dedicated hotline, 830-221-1120, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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