Comal County added 38 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional probable cases on Tuesday morning — a recent spike that public officials say is partly driven by people not following guidelines.
“It’s clear we are seeing a spike in cases driven by a lack of social distancing and the emergence for the first time of widespread community transmission in Comal County,” said Cheryl Fraser, director of public health. “To protect your health and the health of your loved ones and community, everyone should practice social distancing, wear a face covering if they must go out, and continue frequently washing hands and using hand sanitizer.”
Comal County’s positivity rate — the percentage of tests with a positive result — is now 5.66%, up from 4.77% on Saturday and 3.81% one week ago.
“The positivity rate is significant because it helps identify new spread of a disease," Anil Mangla, Comal County epidemiologist said last week. "An increase in the positivity rate tells us that new infections are occurring, not just that we are testing more people.”
The county has now seen 197 confirmed cases and 43 probable cases. The county also confirmed 10 more recoveries from COVID-19, for a total of 137. The county now has 97 active confirmed and probable cases with six now hospitalized after a previously reported case was admitted.
The newest cases range from across the county, although the majority are residents of New Braunfels or the immediate area, and range in age from under 18 to their 60s, although more than 20 of the cases are in their 20s — and echo concerns that Texas Governor Greg Abbott voiced about younger people not following health guidelines.
Four cases are from the Bulverde area, one is from the Garden Ridge area, and one is on the south side of Canyon Lake. A handful of new cases are scattered in the unincorporated areas of the county, especially northwest and northeast of New Braunfels.
Guadalupe County has 10 active COVID-19 cases in the portion of New Braunfels that sits across the county line.
As of Tuesday morning, the Comal County Office of Public Health has received reports of 4,240 tests conducted with 197 confirmed cases and 43 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.