In addition to reporting 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on June 23, Comal County also reported 21 probable cases, increasing its total to 419.
“We are seeing rapid increases in both cases and hospitalizations,” said Cheryl Fraser, the director of Comal County Public Health. “I cannot stress enough the importance that everyone in Comal County wear a face covering in public, avoid congregating in large groups, and continue washing their hands frequently.”
Five new hospitalizations raised the county's total to 13.
The cases announced June 23 ran the gamut in age range, with the youngest under 18 and the oldest in their 80s, but the plurality of them are residents in their 20s.
New Braunfels-area residents represented 51 of the June 23 cases, 19 were Bulverde- or Spring Branch-area residents, one was from north of Canyon Lake, one was south of Canyon Lake and one was in the Garden Ridge area, according to a press release issued by the county.
As of June 23, seven of the county's residents have died due to the virus, and 221 cases remain active.
Comal County's Office of Public Health—which closed its doors to the public June 22 due to employees testing positive—has received reports of 5,103 COVID-19 tests.
The positivity rate for testing since the beginning of the pandemic, including nursing home testing, was 8.2%.
The seven-day rolling average for positivity in testing in the county is 20.7%, up from 17.9% on June 20.
Last week, several Texas counties issued executive orders requiring masks to be worn in businesses in response to increases in reported cases, but Comal County Judge Sherman Krause has yet to issue a similar order.
Mayor Rusty Brockman of New Braunfels issued an order for face coverings June 23, after a growing list of businesses reported infected employees and multiple camp counselors employed by the city tested positive.
New Braunfels' City Council had postponed a meeting scheduled for June 22 due to an undisclosed possible coronavirus exposure.
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.
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 is much faster.
- They are presenting COVID-19 symptoms.
- They have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
In Guadalupe County, a similar spike to Comal County's has occurred since June 18.
231 cases were reported by the Department of State Health Services, or DSHS, between June 19 and June 23. Of those cases, 94 were reported June 23.
Community Impact Newspaper previously sourced case data from the Guadalupe County Office of Emergency Management. DSHS figures will be used going forward due to greater consistency and regularity of reporting. Hospitalizations and deaths may still be reported using county information when possible.
As of June 19, three of Guadalupe County's residents were still hospitalized due to the coronavirus, according to Office of Emergency Managements most recently released information.
The first death in Guadalupe County related to the virus, a New Braunfels resident, was reported last week.