On Aug. 3, Comal County reported 175 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 12,863. Of the newly reported cases, 117 are confirmed, and 58 are probable.

An additional 36 recoveries were reported, bringing the total to 11,539 recoveries. The county has 983 active confirmed and probable cases.

Between Aug. 2-3, the county health department reported six additional coronavirus-related deaths. The deaths, which occurred between July 22-31, were of two Canyon Lake men in their 60s and 70s, three New Braunfels men in their 80s, 70s and 50s and one New Braunfels woman in her 80s.

On Aug. 3, Comal County hospitals reported caring for 60 COVID-19 patients, the highest daily number reported since Feb. 2.

Of the reported patients, 12 were in intensive care, and two were on ventilators. A total of 23 Comal County residents were reportedly hospitalized with the virus as of Aug. 3, 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 11.22% of total hospital capacity Aug. 3, up from 7.07% on July 26. It is the highest recorded percentage since Feb. 24.

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 Aug. 3, the molecular positivity rate was reported to be 12.76%, and the antigen positivity rate was reported to be 8.47%, compared to 11.18% and 11.27%, respectively, on July 26.

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.

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.

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 Aug. 3, a total of 83,965 Comal County residents has received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 72,652 have been fully vaccinated. According to the DSHS, 54.51% of 133,278 county residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, and 63% have received at least one dose.

In Guadalupe County, a total of 78,252 residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 68,129 have been fully vaccinated as of Aug. 3. According to the DSHS, 48.71% of 139,873 county residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, and 55.95% have received at least one dose.

COVID-19 testing sites are available throughout the county, and many area pharmacies and health care providers currently offer vaccination appointments. Home testing kits are also available at some in-person and online retailers.

Those interested in being vaccinated can visit the state DSHS website or speak to their primary care provider for information and to schedule an appointment.

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