Active COVID-19 cases in Hays County continue slow decline

With case counts shrinking in San Marcos, the city of Kyle now leads Hays County in active coronavirus cases. (Community Impact staff)
With case counts shrinking in San Marcos, the city of Kyle now leads Hays County in active coronavirus cases. (Community Impact staff)

With case counts shrinking in San Marcos, the city of Kyle now leads Hays County in active coronavirus cases. (Community Impact staff)

On Sept. 15, Hays County reported nine new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the county's total to 5,665 lab-confirmed cases. Some 1,845 of those cases were considered active, according to information released by the county's local health department.

However, San Marcos and Hays County officials have suggested the number of active cases could be lower due to how the department tracks cases.

The department does not move active cases to recovered cases until it is able to verify residents with confirmed cases of the virus are symptom-free. This process requires county residents to speak with department employees.

Aside from being a time-consuming process, a Hays County official noted that not all residents with cases of the virus were willing to respond.

Other counties, such as Travis County, move active cases to their recovered category after three weeks, at which point it is assumed the resident is free of the virus.


Due to these challenges in tracking cases, other statistics such as the positivity rate for testing offer additional insight into how Hays County is faring with the coronavirus.

The rolling seven-day positivity rate for coronavirus testing in Hays County was 13.5%, with 139 cases and 1,031 tests reported between Sept. 8 and Sept. 15.

Hays County's overall testing positivity rate was 18% on Sept. 15—a decline from 18.3% at the end of August. Some 31,495 coronavirus tests have been conducted on county residents so far.

The greatest concentrations of active cases were in Kyle with 742 cases, San Marcos with 667 cases and Buda with 300.

According to the department, 164 Hays County residents have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 52 have died. There were 11 residents hospitalized as of Sept. 15, according to the county.

A presentation to San Marcos City Council on Sept. 15 stated that additional free COVID-19 testing could be offered soon at the Live Oak clinics in San Marcos and Wimberley.

During a Sept. 1 meeting, Chase Stapp, San Marcos director of public safety, told City Council that roughly 900 people were tested for the virus in Kyle and San Marcos through similar free testing offered by Hays County and other government authorities.
By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.


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