Comal County Public Health announced Oct. 28 that it will change the way local COVID-19 data is reported beginning Nov. 1.

On Sept. 1, funding for the Texas Health Trace system was suspended, and the system will cease to exist after mid-November, according to a county press release.

The system previously provided all COVID-19 data to the county, including daily case counts, recoveries, ages and locations of cases.

Comal County will begin receiving reports from the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, which Comal County Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser said does not provide the same data sets.

“Individual cases will no longer be investigated. The focus will shift to investigating hospitalizations, deaths and defined outbreaks such as outbreaks within nursing homes and long-term care facilities,” Fraser said in a press release. “We will not be able to access information on active cases, recoveries, regional location and age category. Missing data also means that we won’t be able to calculate a positivity rate.”

The new county COVID-19 dashboard will show the number of new COVID-19 cases per day, total case counts, the total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county and the total number of coronavirus-related deaths.

On Oct. 28, Comal County reported 44 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 19,458. Of the newly reported cases, 27 were confirmed and 17 were probable. The cases included 20 backlogged cases.

The county also reported 41 recoveries Oct. 28, bringing the current active case count to 413.

Between Oct. 25-28, a total of 10 coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the county.

Comal County hospitals on Oct. 28 reported caring for 18 COVID-19 patients, three of whom were in intensive care and one was on a ventilator. According to the county, 100% of the patients in county hospitals with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated.

A total of 26 Comal County residents were reportedly hospitalized with the virus as of Oct. 28, though not all residents are hospitalized within county hospitals.

As of Oct. 28, a total of 96,830 Comal County residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 85,830 have been fully vaccinated.

In Guadalupe County, a total of 92,069 residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 81,898 have been fully vaccinated as of Oct. 28.

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.

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

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