COVID-19 has killed six more Comal County residents — all with ties to nursing homes — health officials announced Wednesday morning. The county’s death toll from the disease now stands at 15.
Five of the deaths occurred among residents of The Heights of Bulverde, and the sixth was a resident of Kirkwood Manor in New Braunfels.
“Our prayers and condolences go with the loved ones of these men and women,” said County Judge Sherman Krause. “One death is too many, and we have now lost 15 members of our community to this virus. These tragedies remind us that it is critical to protect ourselves and our families.”
The Kirkwood Manor resident was a man in his 90s who died Monday in a San Antonio hospital, officials said.
The five Heights of Bulverde residents were:
A man in his 60s who died July 1 in a San Antonio hospital.
A woman in her 80s with underlying medical conditions who died at the facility Monday.
Another woman in her 80s died in a San Antonio hospital Monday.
A woman in her 70s who died in a San Antonio hospital Tuesday.
A man in his 90s with underlying medical conditions who died in a New Braunfels hospital Tuesday.
The deaths were reported to the county's office of public health late Tuesday.
Comal County officials said they are working with the city of New Braunfels to provide additional support and resources to local nursing homes and other long-term residential health care facilities as they battle the coronavirus.
Long-term care facilities in Comal County have reported case numbers of COVID-19 to the county's public health office including:
River Gardens in New Braunfels: 77 cases (55 residents, 22 staff), four of them hospitalized
The Heights of Bulverde: 54 cases (30 residents, 24 staff), five deaths
Kirkwood Manor in New Braunfels: 12 cases (nine residents, three staff), one death
Colonial Manor in New Braunfels: 4 cases (two residents, two staff)
New cases added
Comal County on Wednesday reported 103 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases for a total of 1,092.
Of the new cases, 75 are confirmed and 28 are probable. Seventy-six of the new cases are New Braunfels-area residents, 16 are from the Bulverde/Spring Branch area, seven are from the Garden Ridge area, two live north of Canyon Lake, one lives south of Canyon Lake, and one is from Fair Oaks Ranch. Thirty-nine are younger than 30, including one child under 1; 39 are in their 30s or 40s, 16 are in their 50s or 60s, and nine are older than 70.
Comal County’s positivity rate — the percentage of tests with a positive result — is now 13.64%, up from 12.61% on Tuesday and 12.17% one week ago.
The county also confirmed 17 more recoveries from COVID-19, for a total of 355. With 15 deaths, the county now has 722 active confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases. Of those, 32 remain hospitalized.
As of Wednesday morning, Public Health has received reports of 8,005 tests conducted with 825 confirmed cases and 267 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.
Previous COVID-19 deaths
Comal County has seen 15 reported deaths from the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
The first of those was TJ Mendez which was reported on March 26. The 44-year-old New Braunfels man is the only local death with a name attached as health officials haven't released any details about the fatalities beyond an age range and location.
The family of Mendez went public with his death, saying he had no underlying medical conditions that would have made him more likely to die.
The county's second death was a Canyon Lake man in his 70s. His death was reported by officials on March 30.
A Bulverde couple in their 80s were the county's third and fourth death. Their deaths were reported by Comal County on April 9.
Two men in their 80s were Comal County's fifth and sixth to die from the disease. County officials announced their deaths on April 13.
The longest span between COVID-19 deaths fell between the sixth and seventh death. A New Braunfels man in his 90s became the county's seventh victim. His death took place on May 17 but was announced on May 28.
The six announced on Wednesday bring the number to 15.
New Braunfels has one additional COVID-19 death that took place in Guadalupe County. That man was in his 50s and marked that county's first coronavirus death.