Comal County health officials said Saturday they have received a report of 42 cases of COVID-19 at the River Gardens assisted living facility in New Braunfels, with 32 of them among residents and 10 more among the staff of the facility.
River Gardens says it's an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities served in a residential group home setting with 24-hour staff.
Comal County officials say not all of the cases at River Gardens are reflected in the official counts as some are pending confirmation.
Information about initial cases at River Gardens was first released on Thursday by county officials and confirmed by the facility.
“We are taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our facilities," Mark Lashley, CEO of Caregiver, the parent company of River Gardens said Thursday. "These measures include sheltering in place, aggressive visitor limitations, symptom and temperature screenings, rigorous disinfection protocols and personal protective equipment and supplies. We will continue to work closely with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps to lovingly care for members of our community’s most vulnerable population.”
The county added 46 cases to its count on Saturday morning with 35 of them confirmed and 11 more probable. The majority of those — 33 — are New Braunfels-area residents, 10 are from the Bulverde/Spring Branch area, two live south of Canyon Lake, and one lives in the Garden Ridge area. The age range of the new patients runs from under one year old to older than 80.
The new cases push Comal County's total cases to 598 and put the county's positivity rate — the percentage of tests with a positive result — at 9.72%, up from 9.20% on Thursday and 7.11% one week ago.
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The county's hospitalization count climbed to 24 overnight, up seven from Friday's county report. County officials also confirmed 24 more recoveries from the disease. The county now has 342 active confirmed and probable cases. There have been seven deaths since the outbreak began with another death for New Braunfels happening on the Guadalupe side of the county line.
As of Saturday morning, Public Health has received reports of 6,150 tests with 470 confirmed cases and 128 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.
Probable case definition
“Probable cases” 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 following three criteria:
A positive quick-result antigen test
Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Close contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case
A probable case is treated identically to a confirmed case and counts toward the county’s positivity rate and total case tally.