Regional COVID-19 hospitalization rate dips below 15% for first time since mid-December as vaccine rollout continues

A health care worker prepares vaccine doses to be administered at EdenHill Communities in New Braunfels. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
A health care worker prepares vaccine doses to be administered at EdenHill Communities in New Braunfels. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)

A health care worker prepares vaccine doses to be administered at EdenHill Communities in New Braunfels. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)

Since mid-December, the number of COVID-19 patients in Trauma Service Area P—which spans 22 counties in Southwest Texas, including Comal, Guadalupe and Bexar counties—has remained above 15% of total hospital capacity.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Trauma Service Area P was reported to be 15.92% of total hospital capacity as of Feb. 8, down from 18.20% as of Feb. 5. The percentage remained above 20% from Jan. 5-29 before it began to gradually decrease.

According to Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, which went into effect Oct. 14, any business operating at 75% capacity within a TSA that sees seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 patients exceeds 15% of total hospital capacity must cut back to 50% capacity.

Bars that are not operating as restaurants have been required to close entirely under the order, and the restrictions will remain in place until the TSA P hospitalization rate remains below 15% for seven consecutive days. Area hospitals must also postpone elective surgeries in accordance with the order.

As of Feb. 8, Comal County hospitals reported caring for 87 COVID-19 patients, 25 of whom are in intensive care and 16 of whom are on ventilators. Comal County reported Jan. 19 that 68 county residents were hospitalized with the coronavirus, up from 58 residents hospitalized as of Jan. 15.

Since Feb. 1, Comal County has reported 390 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 8,479 cases reported since March 2020.

The county reported 14 new coronavirus-related deaths since Feb. 2, with the deaths having occurred between Jan. 14 and Feb. 2. The reported deaths included those of eight New Braunfels residents, one resident of southern Comal County, two residents of Spring Branch and three residents of Canyon Lake.

As of Feb. 8, the county has 604 active, confirmed cases.


As of Feb. 8, the molecular positivity rate was reported to be 37.39% and the antigen positivity rate was reported to be 7.55% as compared to 30.47% and 8.04%, respectively, as of Feb. 5.

According to data from the Texas DSHS, Guadalupe County reported a total of 651 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases between Feb. 1-7, for a total of 12,116 confirmed and probable cases reported since March 16, 2020. Of the reported cases, 635 are active as of Feb. 8.


The Texas DSHS has reported a total of 162 Guadalupe County deaths.

Vaccine rollout continues in Comal and Guadalupe Counties

On Feb. 3-5, the Guadalupe County Emergency Management Department, the city of Seguin and the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center administered 5,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the county’s first joint effort.

Additional clinics will be announced as more vaccine becomes available, and citizens can sign up to receive notifications about local vaccination opportunities through the Regional Emergency Alert Network.

Information about the next allotment of vaccines was released by the DSHS on Feb. 8. Providers in Comal County received 2,100 doses, and providers in Guadalupe County received 1,000 doses. Since mid-December, Comal County providers have been allotted a total of 12,400 doses, and Guadalupe County providers have been allotted a total of 12,350 doses.

The Comal County Office of Public Health was allotted 2,000 doses to be administered through its ongoing vaccination program. GRMC received 400 doses, and the DSHS in Seguin received 100.

Residents can view a list of vaccine providers on the DSHS website, and those who wish be tested can call the county’s hotline at 830-221-1120 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment. Testing is conducted on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Residents can also utilize the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ online search tool to find a testing site.
By Lauren Canterberry
Lauren began covering New Braunfels for Community Impact Newspaper in 2019. Her reporting focuses on education, development, breaking news and community interest stories. Lauren is originally from South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.


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