The Hays County Local Health Department reported 42 additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus Sept. 21, along with three new hospitalizations.

Of the 5,778 county residents infected with the virus to date, 1,734 of those were counted as active as of Sept. 21, but that number could be considerably different due to multiple factors.

Unlike territories such as Travis County, the Local Health Department of Hays County does not migrate active cases to its recovered category after a set time frame, according to county officials. Hays County instead requires that each resident with a confirmed case of the virus must be accounted for through direct communication to verify their case is no longer active.

There is also a delay between when a resident takes a test for the virus and receives their result, and the time at which the Texas Department of State Health Services or Hays County receive reports of the case.

In surrounding counties, officials have said this process can delay public reporting of a lab-confirmed case of the coronavirus by as much as two weeks.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that a recovery from the virus can occur within 10 days. The CDC no longer recommends a negative test before ending isolation, as long as the person has been without a fever for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.

However, the CDC has also reported that some serious cases of the virus have persisted for as long as 20 days, and the World Health Organization stated that the recovery time for a hospitalized patient is roughly 32 days.

The three hospitalizations reported Sept. 21 by the Local Health Department increased the county's total to 168, of which 11 were active.

Fifty-two deaths related to the coronavirus were reported by the county on the same date, but an additional eight—60 total—have been reported by DSHS and could give a glimpse of the county's reporting to come.

The Local Health Department also reported that 31,980 tests for the coronavirus were conducted to date, with an 18.07% positivity rate for testing. The seven-day positivity rate was 23.3% with 485 new tests and 113 new cases.

According to the county, there were no tests for county residents awaiting results Sept. 21.

During the school board meeting for Hays CISD on Sept. 21, it was reported by a district official that five teachers had cases of the virus and two students also tested positive. Roughly 9,086 HCISD students will return to in-person classes Sept. 28.

The DSHS will begin providing state and district level COVID-19 data Sept. 23.