On Dec. 30, Comal County reported 50 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 21,201. Due to a change in reporting entity, the county no longer receives breakdowns of confirmed and probable cases, recoveries or active case counts.

Between Dec. 27-30, a total of eight coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the county, four of which were New Braunfels residents, two were residents of Bulverde, one was a resident of Spring Branch and one was a resident of Canyon Lake.

Comal County hospitals on Dec. 30 reported caring for 20 COVID-19 patients, seven of which were in intensive care and four were on ventilators. According to the county, 89% of the patients in county hospitals with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated.

The county does not report cases by variant type.

On Dec. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance on isolation and quarantine for those with confirmed COVID-19 infections.

The new regulations call for those who test positive for the virus to isolate at home for five days, down from the previously recommended 10 days, regardless of vaccination status. If the individual remains asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving by the end of the five-day period, that person may end isolation but is still encouraged to wear a mask for another five days.

If symptoms have not resolved by the fifth day, the individual is encouraged to remain home for a total of 10 days or until symptoms resolve, according to the CDC.

Fully vaccinated individuals who have received a booster shot that are exposed to the virus are encouraged to wear a mask around others for 10 days, be tested for COVID-19 five days after exposure and get tested if symptoms develop.

The CDC recommends that those who are not vaccinated and are exposed should stay home for five days, be tested on the fifth day, wear a mask around others for a further five days if asymptomatic or stay home until symptoms resolve.

As of Dec. 30, 90,370, or 61.56%, of Comal County residents are fully vaccinated and 29,342 have received a booster dose.

The Food and Drug Administration voted Nov. 19 to expand the existing authorizations for Moderna and Pfizer's vaccine boosters to include all adults over the age of 18. A CDC advisory panel followed up several hours later by voting that all people over the age of 18 may receive a booster dose of either mRNA vaccine, with people over the age of 50 explicitly encouraged to receive one.

Those interested in being vaccinated can visit the Texas Department of State Health Servivces 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 DSHS website or use the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ online search tool to find a testing site.