A total of 14,640 Hays County residents have had lab-confirmed cases of the virus to date, and an additional 1,670 had probable cases. More than 116,000 tests have been performed on the county's population.
Over the previous week, 12.46% of residents taking a test for the coronavirus tested positive, with 7,689 tests performed and 958 positive lab-confirmed results.
Hospitalizations have declined since tying the all-time high of 49 on Jan. 19. As of Jan. 26, the county reported 37 residents were hospitalized with the virus.
Trauma Service Area O, which includes Hays County, reported the county's hospitalization ratio of COVID-19 patients dropped below 15% on Jan. 23 for the first time in 20 days. It has remained below the 15% threshold for three days in a row, but it must remain below that level for seven consecutive days before heightened restrictions are canceled.
A total of 636 county residents have been hospitalized with the coronavirus. On Jan. 22, the county's health department removed 62 cases, 57 of which were hospitalized with the virus at some time, from its reporting due to a routine data audit. A news release said this can happen when there are found to be duplicates or out-of-county residents mistakenly included in the tally.
January has been the deadliest month of the pandemic to date for Hays County residents, with 51 deaths reported in 26 days. A total of 177 county residents are known to have died due to the virus since last March.
The county said the next vaccine portal will open Jan. 29, at noon. Residents will be able to find a signup link at such time at this link.
A phone number, 512-938-1650, has been set up for those without internet access, although it will not be answered until the same time on Friday.
A COVID-19 update alert system has been set up for residents wishing to receive text updates and can be joined by texting COVID to 844-928-3213. Hays County officials will also host Facebook Live sessions on Fridays at 1 p.m. on county Judge Ruben Becerra's Facebook page.
Hays County says it does not maintain a signup list for vaccines.
Hays CISD and San Marcos CISD cases
San Marcos CISD has reported 56 cases of the coronavirus during the first three weeks of the spring semester, increasing its total to 190 since the fall semester began.
Of the cases reported, the vast majority have been among staff, with 40 reported this year and a total of 122 in the 2020-21 school year so far. There have been 16 student cases reported during the spring semester, and 68 since last September.
A much larger district, Hays CISD has reported 220 new cases since the new semester began, which means the district's total case count increased by 87.65% in the first three weeks of classes. Some 134 of the cases were reported during the week of Jan. 18.
A total of 471 cases have been reported to date among HCISD staff and students. Student cases accounted for 251 of the cases, and there were 220 staff cases.