Hays County reports 10 COVID-19 deaths since New Year's Eve

COVID-19 hospitalizations exceeded 15% for the past two days. Additional restrictions would kick in if the rate maintains for seven days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 hospitalizations exceeded 15% for the past two days. Additional restrictions would kick in if the rate maintains for seven days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

COVID-19 hospitalizations exceeded 15% for the past two days. Additional restrictions would kick in if the rate maintains for seven days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Hays County reported seven COVID-19-related deaths Jan. 1-4 and another three Jan. 5, bringing the county's total to 136.

The seven-day positivity rating increased as well, rising to 12.56% for the period of Dec. 30-Jan. 5. There were 5,078 tests reported during that time and 638 lab-confirmed cases, bringing the county's total to 11,162 cases.



An additional 15 probable cases were reported in the last week, bringing the total 1,343.

As of Jan. 5, the county had received reports of 89,613 tests for the coronavirus among its 230,191 residents. Curative testing appointments can be made online.

Some 1,690 residents were considered to have active cases of the virus by Hays County. The county does not move them to the recovered category until city staff are able to contact the resident and confirm the recovery.

The number of active cases reported in the previous three weeks rose to 2,437 Jan. 4 before a slight reduction to 2,419 on Jan. 5. There were 945 active cases for the previous three-week period on Nov. 24, two days before Thanksgiving.



Hospitalizations and potential restrictions


There were 39 active hospitalizations Jan. 5, and total hospitalizations increased by 25 to 575 since Dec. 30.

Hays County is included in the state's Trauma Service Area O, which has a total of 3,495 staffed hospital beds. Of those, 399 were available Jan. 4, and there were 63 open ICU beds and 305 available ventilators.

As of Jan. 4, 17.82% of total hospitality capacity for the region was for COVID-19 hospitalizations, up from 15.25% a day earlier.

Restrictions will be put in place if COVID-19 hospitalizations average more than 15% for seven consecutive days, according to Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order GA-32, which went into effect Oct. 14.

Bars not operating as restaurants would be forced to close; elective procedures would be put on hold; and businesses operating at 75% capacity would be reduced to 50%.

Trauma Service Area P, which includes Comal County, recently went under such restrictions, which are not lifted until the rate drops below 15% for seven consecutive days.

Vaccinations

According to the Department of State Health Services, 3,464 residents of Hays County have received a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, no residents were considered fully vaccinated.

There are an estimated 9,237 frontline workers and members of vulnerable populations in Hays County.

Phase 1A of the state's vaccination plan includes health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, and they are eligible to receive the vaccine now.

Phase 1B includes people over the age of 65 and people over the age of 16 with at least one chronic medical condition with an increased risk for severe illness from the coronavirus. This group is eligible for the vaccine if it is available.

More information on the state's vaccine plan is available online.
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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