COVID-19 ICU

Registered Nurse Rachelle Curtis cares for an intubated patient in the coronavirus intensive care unit at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

Comal County health officials reported two additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the number of virus fatalities to 311 since the pandemic arrived locally in March 2020.

Officials confirmed the death of a Canyon Lake man in his 60s on March 18 at a Katy hospital and a New Braunfels man in his 80s on March 20.

The county's number of active cases rose by one from the previous day to 194, with county officials reporting 25 new cases and 22 recoveries. Ten of the new cases were backlogged cases added to the county's data.

Ten of Wednesday's reported cases are confirmed, while the other 15 are probable. 

Of the active cases, seven of those patients were hospitalized Wednesday.

Local hospitals reported caring for 10 COVID-19 patients, with five in intensive care and three on ventilators. Officials have said that number could include both county and non-county residents who are hospitalized here.

The percentage of COVID hospital bed use across the 22-county region that includes Comal and Guadalupe counties stood at 3.48% on Wednesday. 

The county's seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 was 2.2% on the more widely available antigen test and 4.85% on the molecular test.

The county's vaccine standby list is now open to everyone 18 and older, regardless of occupation or health status. People can register online at www.co.comal.tx.us. Those who do not have computer access or need assistance can call 830-620-5575, but phone resources are limited.

Teens who are 16 and 17 can also be vaccinated, but that requires the Pfizer shot, which the Comal County clinics aren't administering.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has launched the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler at getthevaccine.dshs.texas.gov, which allows people to register for a vaccine appointment from a participating public health entity and some local health departments. Already, more than 125,000 people have registered through that website.

Officials said people can continue to find additional providers through the DSHS Vaccine Information page at dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine.

County health officials have urged people to look at other vaccination options, including those offered by pharmacies, hospitals and stores. H-E-B, Walmart, Sam's Club, CVS, Walgreens and Christus are all offering vaccination opportunities, with details available online or by calling the location.

According to DSHS data, 68,031 people have received vaccinations in Comal County, and 26,988 people, about 19.1% of the county's population, are fully vaccinated.

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