Here is the latest coronavirus update from Comal and Guadalupe County. (Community Impact staff)
As of May 18, Comal County has confirmed 71 cases of the coronavirus and Guadalupe County has confirmed 114 cases. That is an increase of six in Comal and 15 in Guadalupe since last Monday, or a 9.2% and 15.2% rise, respectively.
Five of the new cases in Guadalupe County are from the same household and one of the new cases is from the Silvertree Nursing Home. A new case reported by Comal County on Monday was a Canyon Lake resident in their 70s.
There are nine active cases in Comal and 23 in Guadalupe. All patients are under self-quarantine in their homes.
According to the OPH, 1,223 coronavirus tests have been conducted on Comal County residents.
Antibody testing is being performed at the Comal County Office of Public Health (OPH) and 545 people have received tests, with seven coming back positive to indicate a previous infection of COVID-19, according to the county.
Those seven tests are not included in the county’s total case count and some results are still pending.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the OPH share information but the difference between their testing figures has grown significantly since the beginning of May. The discrepancy could be accounted for if antibody tests are being included in DSHS’s numbers, but multiple requests to DSHS for clarification have gone unanswered.
DSHS puts Comal County’s total at 1,741 tests performed and Guadalupe County at 1,107.
Nursing home testing
On May 11, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered that all staff and residents of nursing facilities in Texas—nearly 250,000 according to the city of New Braunfels—must undergo testing for COVID-19. Testing of Comal County’s residents subject to the directive will be done this week from Tuesday through Friday.
A seven-member unit from the New Braunfels Fire Department, and Bulverde Spring Branch Fire Department personnel, will test roughly 1,300 people living and working in local nursing homes, according to Comal County.
There are five New Braunfels facilities included in the directive but one has agreed to manage its own testing, the county said.
They are Colonial Manor Care Center, Eden Home Inc., Kirkwood Manor, Legends Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation, and Sundance Inn Health Center. An additional facility in Bulverde will also be tested.
“These are among the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Cheryl Fraser, Comal County’s director of public health. “Conducting this testing will help give us a better picture of whether COVID-19 is in our nursing facilities.”
Assisted living and standalone memory care facilities are not included in the one-time testing event and only long-term care facilities are included, according to a press release from Comal County.