Just when it looked like Peterson Regional Medical Center had reached peak COVID-19 admissions, another surge in patients leads to a record nobody wants — 42 hospitalized.
That was the number on Friday afternoon as Peterson wrestles with its largest number of COVID-19 patients yet — now, half of all acute care beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.
After hitting a record 40 patients on Tuesday, Peterson saw a decline to 36 on Wednesday, but it's risen the last two days. Peterson had at least 18 people test positive.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Delta variant of COVID-19 raises the chance of hospitalization significantly.
"Some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous variants in unvaccinated people," the CDC advised. "In two different studies from Canada and Scotland, patients infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients infected with Alpha or the original virus that causes COVID-19. Even so, the vast majority of hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19 are in unvaccinated people.
Preliminary data from Kerr County would suggest Delta is following those trends. The Lead utilized data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the U.S. Health and Human Services to compare the surges. The data suggests that the surge of Dec. 1, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021, left about 20% of those infected in the hospital. From July through August of this year that more than 34% of those infected ended up hospitalized.
The infectiousness of the Delta variant led the Texas Education Agency to issue a new health advisory on Thursday urging districts to keep those in close contact with infection home from school.
Data released by the Texas Education Agency and DSHS said through Aug. 29, more than 51,000 students had tested positive for COVID-19, along with 13,000 staff members. In one week, an estimated 27,000 students tested positive statewide.
In Kerr County, Ingram Independent School District had 38 students and three staff members test positive through Aug. 29. Kerrville ISD, thanks to efforts by parents to track the virus, had more than 200 cases. Center Point's numbers were harder to follow but at least five staff and six students tested positive.
At least one Texas Board of Education member asked the state to require COVID-19 vaccinations for schools. Ruben Cortez Jr. said Gov. Greg Abbott had failed in his duties to protect students and that Texas has long required vaccinations to attend schools. Abbott said there were be no vaccine mandates but said it was the legislature's job to decide.