Comal County COVID Dashboard

To see the dashboard visit here.

A New Braunfels man in his 70s with underlying medical conditions became Comal County’s eighth COVID-19 death over the weekend, health officials said Wednesday.

The county’s office of public health confirmed his death late Tuesday.

Officials also reported 124 new confirmed and probable cases of the disease in the county. Fifty of the cases are probable, while 74 are confirmed. Officials said 86 are New Braunfels-area residents, 23 are from the Bulverde/Spring Branch area, 10 live south of Canyon Lake, three live north of Canyon Lake, and two are from the Garden Ridge area.

Ages on cases range from under 18 to older than 80, with a plurality of cases in their 20s and other significant increases among residents in their 40s, 60s and 70s.

Comal County’s positivity rate — the percentage of tests with a positive result — is now 12.17%, up from 10.28% on Tuesday and 8.65% one week ago. It’s the highest rate the county has recorded since the pandemic began.

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

“Some of the spike we’re reporting today comes from our office catching up from a large influx of reports over the weekend,” said Cheryl Fraser, director of public health, “But as the positivity rate shows, we are seeing significant spread throughout the community, especially in New Braunfels and Bulverde.”

Comal County confirmed 13 more recoveries from COVID-19, for a total of 275. With eight deaths, the county now has 495 active confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases. An additional 11 hospitalizations were confirmed, bringing that total to 36. 

 

Outbreaks at 

facilities

The office also reported on outbreaks at nursing homes and other long-care facilities in the county, with 27 residents and 14 staff at the Heights of Bulverde, eight residents and five staff at Kirkwood Manor in New Braunfels and 32 residents and 10 staff at River Gardens in New Braunfels.

Kirkwood Manor did not immediately return a call requesting comment on Wednesday.

“Not all of the cases in long-term care facilities that have been reported to us are reflected in the official case counts yet, and the rise in cases across the county cannot be explained simply by looking at the cases being reported in those facilities,” said Paul Anthony, Comal County’s public information officer.

According to the Texas Department of Health State Services, 275 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 770 cases among residents and 145 fatalities. The agency also reports 309 recoveries among assisted living facility residents.

DSHS data also shows that 693 nursing homes in the state have at least one confirmed resident or staff case of COVID-19, with 6,194 cases among residents and 949 deaths. The agency reports 2,824 recoveries among nursing home residents.

Fraser urged residents to do their part to slow the spread of the disease as it starts to weigh on the county’s health system.

“COVID-19 is putting incredible pressure on our local health care system, and we are seeing increased stress in staffing capabilities across the board,” Fraser said. “Face coverings, social distancing and hand washing are the best tools we have to fight the spread of the coronavirus, and we need to use them.”

Ages shifting

Statistics released by Comal County also show a significant shift in the distribution of cases by age in New Braunfels during June.

On June 2, the data indicated that 5% of COVID-19 cases in New Braunfels were people ages 19 to 29 with the plurality of cases among those ages 40 to 49. By June 23, however, the percentage of the city’s cases among 19 to 29-year-olds had increased to 41%.

The percentage of cases in New Braunfels by age on June 2 was: age 19-29, 5%; age 30-39, 19%; age 40-49, 27%; age 50-59, 24%; age 60-69, 8%; and age 70 and above, 17%.

The percentage of cases in New Braunfels by age on June 23 was: age 19-29, 41%; age 30-39, 14%; age 40-49, 16%; age 50-59, 11%; age 60-69, 13%; and age 70 and above, 8%.

Testing

As of Wednesday morning, Public Health has received reports of 6,393 tests conducted with 599 confirmed cases and 179 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. The hotline will be closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.

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.

Recommended for you

(5) comments

John Marston

Would be nice to know how many are folks going in multiple times to see if they test negative yet.

Quincy Adams

The paper really needs to start reporting the 7 day rolling positivity average so people can start to understand how fast this thing is deteriorating. The overall average since the beginning, which you keep emphasizing, is distorting the urgency of what is going on "now".

Please look into it... it is what the experts follow since it illuminates what is going on with a disease that is lightning fast. Stale data makes it easier for the virus to stay ahead of any measures necessary to contain it.

date 7 day Positivity avg

===========================

6/9/2020 5.1%

6/17/2020 19.3%

6/24/2020 21.2%

7/1/2020 32.3%

Michael MEASELLS

No. You are off base, Mr. Adams. The "Paper", and the media needs to focus on the death rate and the the ICU rate. Comal county had 2 deaths in March, 3 deaths in April, 1 death in May, 0 deaths in June, and now 1 death in July. THIS IS NOT AN UPWARD TREND. Further, if a hospital ICU is busy, it's not solely from COVID patients. It's from all the other ailments (heart, diabetes, strokes, infections, suicides, etc) that folks have not been taking care of. Deaths from COVID19 are down in Texas in the month of June vs. the month of May. They have NOT been on an upward trend in the last two months. Get a grip.

Michael MEASELLS

Correction to previous post: 4 deaths in April, not 3. MM

Quincy Adams

Comal County had 99 total reported Covid cases between March and May. As you pointed out, there were 7 deaths during that same period.

June thru today’s date July 2nd there was an additional 737 reported Covid cases. We are possibly doubling the cases about every 7-10 days. Weekly positivity rates are off the charts. They tell you how extensive the community spread is.

It takes about 4 weeks on average after catching Covid before death occurs. We have added 737 new cases over the past 4 ½ weeks. I certainly don’t expect the mortality rate to be 7%, as it was March – May, but if our health care system gets overrun, the mortality rate will be higher than average. That is one of the big factors that hammered Italy.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.