Coronavirus

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

Comal County health officials said Saturday they had received a report of 42 cases of COVID-19 at the River Gardens assisted living facility in New Braunfels.

Of those cases, according to officials, 32 of them were among residents, and 10 more were among the staff of the facility.

According to its website, River Gardens is an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities served in a residential group home setting with 24-hour staff.

Comal County officials said 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's Fort Worth-based parent company, Caregiver Inc.

As the rest of our state is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, Caregiver's CEO Mark Lashley said on Monday, the facility is also challenged with slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

"We are taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the facility, including separating those who have tested positive from those who are symptomatic and awaiting test results and from those who are not affected," Lashley said. 

"Additionally, we are sheltering in place, limiting visitors, conducting symptom and temperature screenings, conducting rigorous disinfection protocols and requiring personal protective equipment be used. We are proud of our professional team members dedicated to providing the best care for members of our community's most vulnerable population." 

According to the Texas Department of Health State Services, 254 assisted living facilities in the state have at least one confirmed resident or staff case of COVID-19.

The data also shows that there have been 738 cases among residents with 139 fatalities. The agency also reports 307 recoveries among assisted living facility residents.

State officials count assisted living facility statistics separately from nursing home figures.

River Gardens operates 16 group homes in San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Seguin and Lockhart.

Comal County health officials did not release a coronavirus update on Monday.

On Saturday, officials reported 46 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 for a total of 598.

Of those new cases, 35 are confirmed and 11 are probable; 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. Ages range from under one-year-old to older than 80.

The county also confirmed 24 more recoveries from COVID-19, for a total of 249. With seven deaths, the county now has 342 active confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases. An additional seven cases were hospitalized, bringing that total to 24.

There have been seven deaths since the outbreak began with another death for New Braunfels happening on the county line's Guadalupe side.

Comal County's positivity rate — the daily percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in relation to the total number of people tested that day — was 9.72% on Saturday, up from 9.2% on Thursday and 7.11% one week ago.

Of the 598 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Comal County, 439 are from the New Braunfels area, including eastern and central Comal County; 97 from western Comal County, including Bulverde and Spring Branch; 27 from south of Canyon Lake; 19 from north of Canyon Lake, including Fischer; 14 from southern Comal County, including Garden Ridge and Schertz; and two from Fair Oaks Ranch.

Testing

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.

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