Two more residents died from COVID-19 last week, driving Kerr County's estimated August death toll to 14.
In its Tuesday update, the Texas Department of State Health Services noted deaths occurred on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25. Based on reporting from Peterson Regional Medical Center and DSHS, five people died at Peterson, while nine died outside of the county — most likely in Bexar County.
All of this comes as every indicator of progress in fighting the coronavirus went negative this week. Nearly 100 people have tested positive through Peterson Health, and the hospital admitted a record 40 people on Tuesday with COVID-19.
Across the state, 27,000 new infections were reported on Tuesday — the most in this August wave. Hospitalizations ticked up for a second consecutive day, with 13,878 people admitted across the state. There remains intense pressure on the state's hospitals and intensive care units
In the schools, Kerrville Independent School District did not return emails requesting comment from Superintendent Mark Foust. KISD did update its COVID-19 dashboard to show 180 active cases. However, Tivy High School admitted there were 12 new cases on Tuesday. It is believed the district has more than 200 cases.
Parents told The Lead they have been peppering Foust with emails about the situation in the Kerrville schools, but the response retreated to Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to ban mask mandates.
Data released by Texas Health and Human Services, delayed by two weeks, showed COVID-19 creeping back into Kerrville nursing homes — mainly through the staff. As of Aug. 16, 11 staff members were infected, and one patient had COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided a more precise snapshot of the Peterson Regional Medical Center situation for seven days ending Aug. 19. In its report, HHS said Peterson had 124 emergency department COVID-19 visits in one day.
During that period, Peterson had 37% of its patients sickened by COVID-19 patients — on average. The hospital had 70% of its beds occupied, with 26% committed to COVID-19 patients.
For the first time, HHS provided a snapshot of the ages of Peterson COVID-19 patients. The breakdown was:
- 7, 40-49 years of age
- 7, 50-59 years of age
- 12, 60-69 years of age
- 11, 70-79 years of age
- 8, 80-and-over.
The report also showed the pediatric situation with Methodist, University and Children's hospitals, all admitting five to 11 children per day with COVID-19.
Kerr County's true COVID-19 death toll, including nursing home deaths, could be as high as 150. The state pegs it at 104. Based on when Peterson reported deaths and when DSHS has compiled information from death records, it does not appear the state has confirmed a COVID-19 fatality at Peterson Regional Medical Center since early December.
The August death toll could still rise because it takes up to 10 days to process a death certificate.