As of June 16, the Comal County Office of Public Health, or OPH, had reports of 240 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 123 cases since June 7.
There were 97 active cases Tuesday morning, six of them hospitalized, and the county's death toll remained at seven.
The county's total has rapidly increased since June 7, in part due to the 43 probable cases included under new guidelines issues by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Probable cases are residents who did not have a positive PCR test for COVID-19, but have met three of the following criteria:
- They have tested positive with a quick-result antigen test, which is less accurate than a PCR test but much faster.
- They are presenting COVID-19 symptoms.
- They have had close contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case.
“For all intents and purposes, a probable case is treated the same as a confirmed positive case,” said Comal County Director of Public Health Cheryl Fraser. “They have reported COVID-19 symptoms, and they either have a positive test result or close contact with a confirmed positive case.”
Including probable cases, Comal County witnessed a 105.1% increase in coronavirus cases since June 7.
The growth rate for that time period is 68.4% without probable cases, showing a surge in cases by whatever level of scrutiny is applied.
“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,” Fraser said. “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.”
More than 20 of Tuesday's new cases were residents in their 20s, but cases ranged in age from under 18 to into their 60s, according to a press release issued by Comal County.
In Guadalupe County, 210 cases have been reported by the Office of Emergency Management, or OEM. Seven of those cases were reported today.
A press release from the OEM stated that multiple instances of households with more than one case had been reported, and there were 38 active cases in the county.
To date, there have been no reported deaths from the coronavirus in Guadalupe County but three residents have been hospitalized.
Testing in Comal County
Residents wishing to be tested for COVID-19 can call Comal County’s dedicated hotline at 830-221-1120 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Several local health care providers and clinics are also offering testing for the coronavirus.
The OPH has received reports of 4,240 COVID-19 tests conducted on residents since March, an increase of 355 tests since last Tuesday, June 9.
The positivity rate for the 4,240 COVID-19 tests reported to the OPH was 5.66%, up from last week's rate of 3.81%, according to Comal County.
That rate includes the 1,435 mandatory tests performed on nursing home residents and employees under the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott.
Those tests substantially lowered the positivity rate, but were largely, if not completely, performed on residents without symptoms of the virus, which goes against standard testing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Without those tests, there was a positivity rate of 8.6% within Comal County on June 16.
According to the DSHS, at least 2,029 Texans have died from the coronavirus. The death toll for the United States stands at 116,905.