The Texas Department of State Health Services reported two people from Kerr County have died from COVID-19 in the last week.
One person died on Sept. 18 — the second death reported on that day — and another on Sept. 23. DSHS has reported 22 deaths of Kerr County residents since Aug. 1. Peterson Regional Medical Center has reported eight during the same period.
A review of nursing home data found that Hilltop Village and Rehabilitation had three COVID-19 deaths earlier this month. The Kerrville nursing home had only had one death before September, avoiding the worst of the outbreak late last year when the virus killed 23 nursing home patients in Kerrville. However, the data shows that Hilltop Village had a significant outbreak of at least 12 residents and five staff members starting about Sept. 1.
The first two patients died Sept. 2 or 3, while another patient died either Sept. 13 or 14. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission track nursing home data separately. Kerrville's nursing home death toll is now 27 people since the pandemic began. With the nursing home data, Kerr County's death toll in care facilities, including the state hospital and V.A. medical center, is now 42.
So, what is Kerr County's actual death toll? If you believe DSHS and Kerr County, which rationalizes Kerr County deaths as only permanent residents, it's 117. There continues to be no credible explanation — or any explanation at all, despite repeated questioning of the death toll — as to why Peterson Regional Medical Center's deaths have not been calculated in the DSHS number since at least the first of December 2020. Factor in those deaths and COVID-19 deaths in Kerr County approach 200 people.
After a break in the number of hospitalizations, Peterson Regional Medical Center is back to having nearly 20 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
The number crept back to 19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, a key indicator of Kerr County's progress against coronavirus. However, the numbers continue to creep upward. There were seven in Peterson's intensive care unit.
The scale of the school outbreak has come into more precise focus thanks to data released earlier this week by the Texas Education Agency. In Kerr County, the schools accounted for at least 659 infections — 411 of those in Kerrville Independent School District. Just how many collateral infections occurred from the schools is unclear. Tivy High School and Peterson Middle School had 92 students infected — each.
The school number through Sept. 19 are:
- 82 students and staff in Center Point.
- 3 school staff in Hunt.
- 163 students and staff in Ingram.
- 411 students and staff in Kerrville.