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Texas flags wave in the wind outside the Comal County Courthouse for Texas Independence Day on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

Comal County’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 400 on Tuesday with officials reporting seven fatalities, while the county’s active case count eclipsed 1,600 for the first time and set a new pandemic record.

Officials confirmed the deaths of a New Braunfels man in his 40s on Sept. 11, a New Braunfels man in his 60s on Sept. 12, a Canyon Lake man in his 80s on Sept. 10, a Bulverde woman in her 60s on Sept. 12, a Canyon Lake woman in her 50s on Sept. 9 and a New Braunfels woman in her 50s on Sept. 11, all at local hospitals.

Officials also reported the death of a New Braunfels woman in her 40s on Sept. 8 at a Seguin hospital, bringing the number of fatalities to 401 since the pandemic arrived locally in March of 2020.

As of Monday, 58,901 people who tested positive for the virus have died in Texas. More than 6,000 Texans have died in the last month.

The Texas Department of State Health Services counts deaths based on death certificates that list COVID-19 as the cause of death, which excludes deaths of people with COVID-19 who died of another cause.

County health officials reported 279 new cases and 153 recoveries on Tuesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,633, a new all-time high, an increase of 119 from the previous day and 467 a week ago. The previous record was 1,537 cases, set on Aug. 25.

Of the new cases, 193 are confirmed and 86 are probable.

Ninety-two of the new cases are people under 20, 31 are in their 20s, 90 are in their 30s and 40s, 48 are in their 50s and 60s and 18 are older than 70.

Comal County hospitals reported caring for 51 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, down six from the previous day and 23 from a week ago, with 15 of those patients in intensive care and six on ventilators. According to county officials, about 95% of those patients are unvaccinated.

Of Comal County's active cases, 23 residents were hospitalized on Tuesday, down two from the previous day and up two from a week ago.

Of those hospitalized, two are in their 30s, two in their 40s, seven in their 50s, seven in their 60s, three in their 70s and two older than 80.

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.

On Monday, state officials reported 8,140 new confirmed cases and 2,003 new probable cases, a decrease of 630 cases compared with the seven-day average a week ago.

As of Sunday, 13,065 Texans were hospitalized for the virus, a decrease of 408 from 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 slightly to 16.81% on Tuesday from Monday’s mark of 16.42%.

State health officials reported 663 available staffed hospital beds in the region, including 71 available staffed ICU beds. The region's hospital capacity is 6,730 beds.

As of Sunday, state health officials reported 7,526 available staffed hospital beds, including 319 available staffed ICU beds statewide. COVID-19 patients currently occupy 20.2% of total hospital beds.

The county's seven-day positivity molecular rate on Tuesday was 14.68%. The antigen rate was 9.85%.

According to DSHS data, 69.2% of Comal County residents over the age of 12 had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 59.84% are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday. The statewide rates stand at 69.93% and 59.05%, respectively.

The vaccination rates in Guadalupe County, which includes a portion of the city of New Braunfels, stood at 62.34% with one dose and 54.29% fully vaccinated.

The Comal County Public Health Department continues to offer vaccination appointments for those over the age of 12, including a third dose for anyone who is moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Those interested in receiving a vaccine can call 830-221-1150 to schedule an appointment.

The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.

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