On July 30, Comal County hospitals reported caring for 54 COVID-19 patients, the highest daily number reported since Feb. 10.

Of the reported patients, 10 were in intensive care and two were on ventilators. A total of 23 Comal County residents were reportedly hospitalized with the virus as of July 30, though not all residents are hospitalized within county hospitals.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Trauma Service Area P was reported to be 9.34% of total hospital capacity on July 30, up from 7.07% on July 26.

County officials reported July 30 that two cases of the delta variant have been confirmed among New Braunfels residents.

Results for samples sent out for testing take approximately three weeks to be returned to the public health department, according to county officials, and both confirmed cases have since recovered.

Since July 26, Comal County has reported 492 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 12,577. It is the highest number of cases reported in one week since mid-January.

An additional 71 recoveries have been reported as of July 30, bringing the total to 11,444 recoveries. The county has 798 active, confirmed or probable cases.

A total of 335 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the county with one new death reported since July 26.

Local positivity rates have continued to climb in New Braunfels as area case counts increase.

Beginning in late March, the antigen positivity rate in Comal County remained at approximately 5% until late June when the percentage of positive tests began to rise.

As of July 30, the molecular positivity rate was reported to be 11.85% and the antigen positivity rate was reported to be 7.82%, compared to 11.38% and 7.08%, respectively, on July 23.

The antigen positivity rate measures the number of positive results from rapid COVID-19 tests, while the molecular positivity rate measures the number of positive results from PCR tests. Both indicate a current infection.

On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all individuals—including those who are fully vaccinated—wear masks in all K-12 schools.

The CDC guidance also recommends fully vaccinated people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks in indoor, public settings. Comal and Guadalupe Counties are both currently classified by the CDC as having a high level of transmission.

As of July 30, a total of 82,774 Comal County residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 72,104 have been fully vaccinated. According to the DSHS, 54.10% of 133,278 county residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated and 62.11% have received at least one dose.

In Guadalupe County, a total of 77,037 residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 67,506 have been fully vaccinated as of July 30. According to the DSHS, 48.26% of 139,873 county residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated and 55.08% have received at least one dose.

Due to rising case counts, Guadalupe Regional Medical Center is not allowing ICU or COVID-19 patients to have any visitors, and other patients are only allowed one visitor at a time.

At the hospital, 85% of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized have not been fully vaccinated.

Those interested in being vaccinated can visit the county website, speak to their primary care provider or visit a local pharmacy for information and to schedule an appointment.

Residents can view a list of vaccine providers on the DSHS website or use the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ online search tool to find a testing site.