A Comal County child under 18 is among the five COVID-19 fatalities reported this week by health officials, while the number of local hospitalizations dropped into the single digits.
The child died on Feb. 22 at home. Information on the child’s age and gender was not released.
Officials also confirmed the deaths of a New Braunfels woman in her 60s on Jan. 4 at home, a New Braunfels woman in her 80s on Feb. 24 at a Guadalupe County hospital, a Canyon Lake man in his 70s on Feb. 10 at a San Antonio hospital and New Braunfels woman in her 90s on Feb. 14 at a local hospital, bring the county death toll to 532 since the pandemic arrived here in March 2020.
State officials reported 98 deaths on Thursday, down 57 from the seven-day average a week ago. According to state data, 83,997 people who tested positive for the virus have died in Texas.
County health officials reported 204 new COVID-19 cases this week, bringing the total number in the county to 30,256.
On Thursday, officials reported 3,935 new cases statewide, bringing the seven-day average to 4,006, a decrease of 2,090 compared with the seven-day average a week ago.
Hospitals in Comal County reported caring for nine patients on Friday, down 11 from a week ago, with three in intensive care and three on a ventilator.
According to county officials, about 58% of those patients were unvaccinated.
Not all patients hospitalized in Comal County are necessarily county residents.
The regional hospitalization rate, which covers the 22-county area that includes both Comal and Guadalupe counties, stood at 5.4%.
On Wednesday, there were at least 3,199 hospitalized patients in Texas with confirmed coronavirus infections, according to state data, down 1,275 patients compared to a week ago.
COVID-19 patients occupy 5% of total hospital beds statewide.
According to state data, 63.78% of Comal County residents ages 5 and older are fully vaccinated. The statewide fully vaccinated rate is 64.02%.
In neighboring Guadalupe County, which includes part of the city of New Braunfels, the fully vaccinated rate stood at 57.32%.
About 42.6 million doses have been administered statewide, including booster shots. So far, 6.3 million Texans have received booster shots.
The county’s health department administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for those 18 and older and Pfizer vaccine for anyone five years and older by appointment. The health department is also offering COVID-19 booster vaccines to residents by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 830-221-1150.
To find other locations where vaccines are available for both adults and children, the CDC has set up a national vaccine finder to search by zip code at www.vaccines.gov.
COVID-19 testing conducted by Curative continues in the parking lot of New Braunfels City Hall at 550 Landa St.
Residents should check availability and book appointments online at https://curative.com/.
Curative offers a modified version of the PCR test, allowing those being tested to administer their own swabs.
Tests are available at no cost to patients and are open to the public, regardless of which city or county a person resides.
Residents needing a COVID-19 test can also call their primary care physician or visit a local pharmacy, such as Walgreens or CVS.
For testing locations across the area, visit the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at meds.tdem.texas.gov.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.