The downward COVID-19 trends that were being seen in some Texas hospitals vanished on Monday when the Texas Department of State Health Services released its weekend numbers.
Not only did nearly 10,000 people test positive on a Monday, but the number of people hospitalized also crept back up to nearly 14,000 people. The Monday trend was to see a smaller number of cases, but Aug. 30 proved to be anything but small.
In Kerrville, Peterson Regional Medical Center reported its largest number of new cases from a weekend since January with 63. There were 36 people with COVID-19 hospitalized — the 10th consecutive day that Peterson has had more than 30. In the DSHS San Antonio region, more than 1,300 people were hospitalized and there were 94 available intensive care unit beds.
DSHS said there were 121 active cases — a statistic that makes no sense. Peterson Health has had at least that many in five days. More than 540 people have tested positive through Peterson's system.
For most of the month, Peterson has been unable to transfer patients to San Antonio-area hospitals for care not available at the Kerrville hospital.
“This is an hour-by-hour, day-by-day situation,” Peterson Health President and CEO Cory Edmondson said via email. “Some days yes, some days no.”
Peterson hospitalized a minimum of 60 people in August. The hospital has not said how many people have been hospitalized in August. No new deaths were reported on Monday.
“Unfortunately, we still have our local hospital and its personnel being taxed by an overabundance of COVID-19 patients,” said William "Dub" Thomas, Kerr County's emergency management coordinator. “The only way we’re going to see this improve is if people get vaccinated or if we just wait out the long period of enough people getting the virus to give us herd immunity (which we’re a long way from).”
If there was any good news from Monday, it was the positivity rate that fell below 15% for the first time since July 24.
The fight over masks in public schools took another turn when the Texas Pediatric Society said it would oppose legislation banning masks. In the first full week of school, the number of positive cases exploded, including here in Kerrville. The Kerrville Independent School District reported more than 130 active cases last week.
See @TXPeds's post on Twitter.
Kerr County neared the 45% mark of those fully vaccinated on the vaccination front — a 1% gain from Aug. 22. At this rate, Kerr County may reach 50% vaccination by the first of October.