Comal County health officials added 327 new COVID-19 cases to its count on Tuesday, while local hospitalizations remained steady.
The new cases come on the heels of Monday’s report of 352 new cases, the highest number of new cases reported in one day since the pandemic began.
The newly reported cases bring the total number in the county to 22,964 since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived locally in March 2020.
The county has reported 1,763 new cases so far this month, already more than the entire month of December, which accounted for 976 new cases.
Monday saw 47,237 new cases reported statewide, bringing the seven-day average to 49,387, an increase of 16,704 compared with the seven-day average a week ago.
Local hospitals reported caring for 44 patients, unchanged from the previous day and 17 more from a week ago, with eight in intensive care and three on ventilators.
About 84% of those patients are unvaccinated, according to health officials.
Not all patients hospitalized in Comal County are necessarily county residents.
Although local hospitalizations remained steady on Tuesday, the patient population continued to increase regionally and statewide, likely fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.
The regional hospitalization rate, which covers the 22-county area that includes both Comal and Guadalupe counties, stood at 11% on Tuesday, an increase from the 10.1% rate reported on Monday.
On Sunday, there were at least 10,417 hospitalized patients in Texas with confirmed coronavirus infections, according to state data, an increase of 3,402 patients compared to a week ago. Although that number of patients is the most seen in the last three months, it’s still short of the record 14,218 hospitalizations from Jan. 11, 2021.
COVID-19 patients currently occupy 17.5% of total hospital beds statewide.
No deaths were reported on Tuesday. The county’s death toll remains at 486.
As of Monday, 75,287 people who tested positive for the virus have died in Texas.
According to state data, 62.07% of residents ages 5 and older are fully vaccinated. The statewide fully vaccinated rate is 61.61%.
The fully vaccinated rate in neighboring Guadalupe County, which has a portion of the city of New Braunfels in it, stood at 55.65%.
About 40.1 million doses have been administered statewide, including booster shots. So far, 5.2 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.
COVID-19 testing in New Braunfels is also available at a site operated by Grand Avenue Pharmacy located at 894 Loop 337 Unit B, Riverside ER at 1860 S. Seguin Ave., Lonestar 24 HR ER at 1751 Medical Way and Christus Promptu Urgent Care at 1659 State Highway 46.
The Texas Department of State Health Services provides a map of testing locations at https://covidtest.tdem.texas.gov/.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.