Comal County announced 15 additional cases of the coronavirus Saturday morning, raising its total to 191. Eight of the cases were confirmed and seven were probable.
The county's total included 159 confirmed cases and 32 probable cases.
In the last six days, 74 residents tested positive for COVID-19, which increased the tally by 63.2%.
The county has 57 active cases of the virus and five of those are hospitalized, including a new hospitalization of a previously reported case.
Residents wishing to be tested for COVID-19 can call the county’s dedicated COVID-19 hotline at 830-221-1120 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
UPDATE: 5:50 p.m., June 12
Comal County reported 17 cases of the coronavirus Friday morning—10 were confirmed and seven were probable—bringing its total to 176.
Reported cases of COVID-19 have increased 50.4% in the county since Sunday, June 7, when there were 117 cases.
“We’re not seeing a connection to any particular industry or event, but rather a broad-based increase in cases, especially in the New Braunfels area, that is outpacing the number of tests that are being performed," said Comal County Public Information Officer Paul Anthony.
Of the 358 cases from across both Comal and Guadalupe counties, 127 were New Braunfels residents.
The positivity rate in Comal County now stands at 4.5%, with the state's mandatory nursing home tests factored in, and 7% without them.
Guadalupe County's case total increased by eight on Friday. There were 182 reported by the county as of Friday afternoon, up from 153 on Sunday, June 7.
As of June 12, there were 48 active cases of the virus in Comal County and 33 in Guadalupe County.
Since Monday morning, Comal County has reported 42 confirmed or probable cases of the coronavirus, of which 29 were in New Braunfels.
"Probable cases" is a new category added this week to align the county's reporting with guidelines issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services. These cases are treated the same as confirmed cases and count toward the county's positivity rate and case totals, according to the county.
These cases have not received a positive PCR test result—which is considered more accurate but takes longer—but must meet two of the following criteria:
- A positive quick-result antigen test has been returned
- The subject is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- The person has had close contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case
Of the 159 COVID-19 cases reported by the Comal County Office of Public Health (OPH) since mid-March, 37 are active and four of those residents are hospitalized. According to a press release issued by Comal County, the OPH believes that some positive tests may be going unreported.
“...We’re also hearing from some residents who received a positive test result from their physician or clinic, but whose result has not yet been reported to the Office of Public Health,” said Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser in the release. “If you have been told you tested positive but have not been contacted by our office, please reach out and call us at 830-221-1150.”
The release goes on to announce that the Comal County Tax Office is closed for at least the remainder of the week for sanitization due to an employee that self-reported a positive COVID-19 test.
The employee's exposure to the public is believed to be minimal due to reduced direct contact with customers because of social distancing and other measures.
Satellite Tax Office locations in Bulverde and Sattler were also closed until further notice as a cautionary measure and customers are being directed to the offices website for most transactions.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our staff and customers,” said Tax Assessor-Collector Cathy Talcott in a press release
Comal County testing for COVID-19
As of Thursday, there have been 3,909 COVID-19 tests reported to the OPH, an increase of 521 since June 5.
The sum total includes 1,435 mandatory nursing home resident and staff tests performed in a one-time, statewide testing event, which substantially lowered the positivity rate.
Testing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not suggest testing the general population without symptoms, but do include the testing of people prioritized by health departments under state and local plans.
Removing the nursing home tests from the total leaves 2,474 tests reported among Comal County residents—a positivity rate of 6.4%. With the nursing home tests, the positivity rate was cut to 4.1%.
Residents wishing to be tested for COVID-19 can call the county’s dedicated hotline at 830-221-1120 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
There are 174 cases of the coronavirus reported in Guadalupe County, as of June 11. Of those cases, 36 are active and two of the county's residents are hospitalized.
Of those cases, 21 were reported since Monday and represent a 13.7% increase in cases.