The number of active COVID-19 cases in Comal County eclipsed 1,400 on Monday, setting yet a new record, while local hospitalizations remained at high levels, with the vast majority of those patients unvaccinated.
County health officials reported 187 new cases and 110 recoveries Monday, bringing the number of active cases to 1,454, an increase of 77 compared to the Friday's report and 128 from a week ago. Of the new cases, 133 are confirmed and 54 are probable.
Most of the new cases reported Monday are people younger than 50.
Forty-two of the new cases, including an infant under 12 months of age, are people under 20, 25 are in their 20s, 64 are in their 30s and 40s, 41 are in their 50s and 60s and 15 are older than 70.
No deaths were reported Monday. There have been 354 fatalities since the pandemic arrived locally in March of 2020.
State officials on Friday reported 11,762 new confirmed cases and 3,581 new probable cases, an increase of 3,466 cases compared with the seven-day average a week ago.
Thirty-one Comal County residents were hospitalized with the virus on Monday, unchanged from Friday and down five from a week ago.
Of those hospitalized, one is aged 18 or younger, two are 19 to 29, three are in their 30s, four in their 40s, seven in their 50s, nine in their 60s, 10 in their 70s and one older than 80.
The number of patients in local hospitals was 88 on Monday, unchanged from Friday and down 15 from a week ago, with 22 of those patients in intensive care and 13 on ventilators. According to health officials, about 91% of those patients are unvaccinated.
Local hospitals have cared for a mix of county residents and those from outside the area since the pandemic began, and some local patients have been treated in outside hospitals.
As of Saturday, 13,106 Texans were hospitalized for the virus, an increase of 1,554 patients compared with a week ago.
The percentage of hospital beds being used by COVID patients across the 22-county region that includes Comal and Guadalupe counties rose to 20.89% on Monday from Friday's rate of 20.36%. The rate was 18.36% a week ago.
State health officials reported 664 available staffed hospital beds in the region, including 57 available staffed ICU beds. The region's hospital capacity is 6,730 beds.
State health officials on Saturday reported 7,632 available staffed hospital beds, including 372 available staffed ICU beds statewide. COVID-19 patients currently occupy 20.5% of total hospital beds.
The county's seven-day positivity molecular rate on Monday was 17.6%. The antigen rate was 11.64%. The rates are broken down by the type of COVID test that is used.
Texas Department of State Health Services figures show that 67.13% of Comal County residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 57.01% are fully vaccinated as of Friday. The statewide rates stand at 66.73% and 55.42%, respectively.
The vaccination rates in Guadalupe County, which includes a portion of the city of New Braunfels, stood at 60.21% with one dose and 51.21% fully vaccinated.
The Comal County Public Health Department continues to offer vaccination appointments for those over the age of 12. The Moderna vaccine is used for those 18 and older, while the Pfizer is used for those between the ages of 12 and 18.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, which will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization, including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
There are no approved vaccines for those under the age of 12. Those interested in receiving a vaccine can call 830-221-1150 to schedule an appointment.
Residents can visit covidvaccine.texas.gov to find a provider in Comal County and surrounding areas.
Residents can also utilize TDEM's State Mobile Vaccine Program by calling 844-90-TEXAS and selecting Option 3 to schedule a mobile vaccine clinic to vaccinate groups of friends, families, employees and volunteers.
Homebound Texans can also call 844-90-TEXAS and choose Option 1 to request a mobile vaccine team to come to their home.
Curative Labs has temporarily closed its testing facility in the New Braunfels City Hall parking lot, but those needing a COVID-19 test can call their primary care physician or visit a local pharmacy, such as Walgreens or CVS.
DSHS provides a map of testing locations available at https://covidtest.tdem.texas.gov/.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.