BREAKING: Comal County resident's death related to COVID-19

Comal County reported a new death related to the coronavirus, bringing the county's total to seven. (Courtesy Pexels)
Comal County reported a new death related to the coronavirus, bringing the county's total to seven. (Courtesy Pexels)

Comal County reported a new death related to the coronavirus, bringing the county's total to seven. (Courtesy Pexels)

Comal County Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser confirmed a new death related to the coronavirus in her weekly update to the County Commissioners Court.

According to Fraser, a New Braunfels man in his 90s died at a hospital in San Antonio on May 17 after testing positive on May 12. He was the seventh county resident confirmed to have died due to complications from the virus.

Fraser also reported that three new cases have been confirmed, including the man who died, raising the county's total to 90.

The other two new cases are Canyon lake residents. One is in their 60s and is quarantining at home and the other is in their 80s and is hospitalized in New Braunfels.

There are 16 Comal residents with active cases of the virus and four residents are hospitalized.

Not including nursing home testing, 1,494 tests have been conducted on residents and 67 are pending, according to Fraser.

1,465 additional tests were performed last week on nursing home residents and staff in Comal County by order of Gov. Greg Abbott. Of those tests, 39 are pending and one was positive.

The positive test was a nurse practitioner that served patients at EdenHill Communities in New Braunfels.

"We're also monitoring the nurse practitioner very closely and anybody that she has come in contact with," Fraser told the court. "We're retesting her just to make sure that's a positive or else getting negatives for everyone else, and if that is positive then we'll move into testing close contacts."

There have also been 887 antibody tests performed at the Office of Public Health between May 4 and May 28 and 11 have returned positive results, indicating a previous COVID-19 infection.

These tests are not tracked the same as viral tests, which confirm active cases of the coronavirus. The county's positive antibody tests are not included in the total count because their county of residence is not tracked.

One of Comal County's two new epidemiologists, Anikumar “Anil” Mangla, provided information to the court on the virus and how it functions.

"It's a micro organism, very tiny virus. It's about five micrometers in length, compared to Ebola which is 100," Mangla said. "Because of its size, it can travel through air for a long time."

Mangla also issued a warning about the status of the pandemic.

"It's not over, it's still continuous so make sure we have the precautions, all the time," Mangla said. "We're not over with it. I think it's going to be a while before we see nationally a decrease in COVID transmission."
By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.


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