With news of the second confirmed fatality from COVID-19 coming late Tuesday, June 30, and the total case count tallying 101 so far, Kerr County officials are continuing to urge citizens and visitors to the area to wear face masks, as well as observe the other precautionary measures to try to curb the spread of this infection.
“Regardless of what you believe about the effectiveness of masks, I like to look at it like this,” said Kerr County Emergency Management Coordinator William B. “Dub” Thomas. “It’s like a seatbelt. It's not going to help you if you don’t wear it. Wearing a mask doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get the virus, but it can’t help if you don’t wear it. Wearing a mask in public, in addition to social distancing, proper hygiene and staying home if you feel sick, are the best practices for avoiding this virus.”
On Monday, the Kerr County Commissioners’ Court listened to many people speaking out in favor or against a mandatory mask order for local businesses. Ultimately, the court did not put a mandatory order in place, but instead voted unanimously to publicly adopt a “best practices” protocol, which it recommended strongly to local merchants and citizens.
“Business owners were afraid that a mask order would hurt their business, but their business will also be hurt if they don’t have any employees who can work because they’re at home with the virus,” Thomas said.
On Tuesday, the date of Kerr County’s second COVID-19 fatality, HEB had announced that it would require masks of all its employees and customers in all its stores.
In an interview Wednesday morning, Thomas released additional information about the positive COVID-19 cases in Kerr County to date. Previously, the information would become available to local public health authorities only after the Texas Department of State Health Services had completed its investigations. However, now that DHS has stated it is overwhelmed with cases and cannot report the information in a timely manner, Peterson Regional Medical Center will take up the mantle moving forward.
Obviously, names and addresses are withheld to protect patients’ privacy, in compliance with HIPAA, Thomas said.
As of 9:35 a.m. Wednesday, the following defined the case load for Kerr County’s COVID-19 cases.
101 Total Cases in Kerr County, Texas (As of July 1, 2020, a.m.)
• 64 – People with active infections
• 35 – Patients who have recovered after once testing positive for the virus (Includes 3 more people added to the recovery list today.)
• 2 – Fatalities (with the second happening June 30, 2020)
Location of COVID-19 positive cases in Kerr County
(The following are numbers of locally positive cases, according to their address locations. Note: Six addresses in Kerrville had multiple cases.)
• 77 – Kerrville
• 19 – Ingram
• 0 – Hunt
• 4 – Center Point
• 1 – Comfort
Transmission Method of Kerr County, Texas COVID-19 Cases
(Only information on how the first 46 cases were infected investigated by DHS is available so far. The state-run agency continues to investigate cases submitted by Peterson Regional Medical Center and local clinics and this will be updated as those investigations are completed and Kerr County is notified of results.)
46 Cases – Infected by:
• 2 – Travel outside of Texas
• 2 – Travel outside of Kerr County, but within the state
• 7 – Unknown how infection occurred
• 9 – Household spread
• 10 – Community spread
• 9 – Close contact
• 3 – Lost to follow-up
• 4 – Workplace exposure in Kerr County
Ages of Kerr County, Texas COVID-19 Positive Patients
(Although demographical data is still unavailable for the first cases, Peterson Regional Medical Center has released such data as age for the last 40 cases it has handled.
*Note, the ages through 59 are given in 10-year segments, while those 60 years and older are divided into 5-year segments. Also note: Names and addresses are withheld out of respect to patients’ privacy.)
Age -- # of COVID-19 Positive Patients in Kerr County, Texas
(** Results only for last 40 cases handled by PRMC)
0 – Younger than 1 year old
3 -- 1-9 years old
0 -- 10-19 years old
8 – 20-29 years old
9 – 30-39 years old
4 – 40 to 49 years old
8 (1 fatality) – 50 to 59 years old
3 – 60 to 64 years old
1 – 65 to 69 years old
1 – 70 to 74 years old
2 (1 fatality) – 75 to 79 years old
1 – 80 years old and older
Thomas noted that 548 additional COVID-19 tests were administered by the Texas Military Force at the Doyle Community Center on Tuesday, June 30. For that test, no symptoms, doctor orders or appointments were necessary, opening up the possibility of testing to any individual who wanted to get one.
Previously, the most tests conducted in a single day’s event was 117, Thomas said.
Another similar testing event is planned soon, but it is reliant on Texas Military Force availability. Kerr County will release details of the next testing event once it is confirmed.