Lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County have been trending upward since early July, bringing an end to a relatively calm June where active case counts hit lows not seen since the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The seven-day average for new cases reported by the county hovered in the single digits for most of June, but has seen rapid increases in July with 45.1 cases reported as the moving average for July 19.

In a July 22 news release covering Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, there were 132 lab-confirmed cases reported, as well as 14 probable cases. A similar report covering Tuesday and Wednesday of the previous week included 56 lab-confirmed cases and 12 probable cases.

Active cases for the same interval also saw a steep rise, with 298 reported for July 13-14 and 491 reported for July 20-21.

Hospitals have seen increases in COVID-19 admissions as well. In June, hospitalizations related to the virus dropped to the low single-digits, but have since risen to the mid-teens and maintained those levels for nearly two weeks. There were 14 active hospitalizations reported for July 21, and there have been a total of 941 since the pandemic began.

To date, the virus has been responsible for 265 deaths in Hays County, with the most recent being a Kyle man in his 60s reported July 21.

On July 15, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra posted to Twitter to notify residents the more contagious delta strain of the coronavirus was present in the area.

The total number of cases among Hays County residents stood at 19,676 on July 20, and 206,387 tests for the virus have been performed. An additional 2,174 probable cases have been reported.

There are vaccine clinics organized by Hays County at several locations in the county, none of which require appointments.

On weekdays, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available at the Live Oak Community Clinic at 401 Broadway St., San Marcos, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. The Pfizer vaccine is available at the CommuniCare at 2810 Dacy Lane, Kyle, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Pfizer vaccine will be available July 29 at three locations from 1-8 p.m. For these clinics, people can visit the Redwood Baptist Church at 2050 Poplar St., San Marcos; Scudder Primary School at 400 Green Acres Dr., Wimberley; and the Walnut Spring School at 113 Tiger Lane, Dripping Springs.