Peterson hits 34 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, most since Jan. 11

Kerrville's hospital reports 41 people tested positive

Peterson Regional Medical Center's August crush of COVID-19 patients reached its highest point Monday, with 34 hospitalized with the virus.

Monday's numbers place Peterson squarely back into the depths of December and January when similar census numbers faced hospital staff. Peterson's record for hospitalized COVID-19 patients is 36. However, this is the most hospitalized since January 11. Nearly 30% of the hospitalized patients are suffering from COVID-19 at the Kerrville hospital.

Peterson Health said there were 41 people positive for the virus after weekend testing. That number is probably low, considering COVID-19 tests are available over the counter and in a wide variety of pharmacies. There may be as many as 300 active cases of COVID-19 in Kerr County.

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The situation with the schools remains unclear because of the slow reporting by the Kerrville Independent School District and the Texas Education Agency. KISD was on pace to surpass its 2021-2022 infection numbers in the first four weeks of the school year. KISD reported 67 cases on Friday.

On Monday, the Kerr County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed to the terms of more than $10 million in federal funding to help shore up COVID-19 efforts. Kerr County is just one of about 25 Texas counties that have taken advantage of the American Rescue Plan Act, which provided more than $5 billion in federal aid to all 254 Texas counties. The cities of Kerrville and Ingram have already received funding through a similar program for cities under 50,000 people.

The county hired a company to administer the complex federal funding, ensuring the county meets the guidelines set by the government. During Monday's commissioner's court meeting, Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly noted that the county moved with unusual speed to get the funding secured.

While Kerr County was taking advantage of federal funds, the coronavirus was still marching across Texas, hospitalizing more than 13,400 people as of Sunday.

On Monday, the Texas Medical Center in Houston reported the virus was spreading at an effective reproduction rate of 1.48 — far faster than previously measured. Earlier this month, the rate was 1.1 in the Houston area. On Sunday, TMC admitted 365 new COVID-19 patients and averaged 390 per day last week.

In San Antonio, there were nearly 400 people in intensive care units, with more than 260 on ventilators. Across the Department of State Health Services San Antonio region, there were 1,400 people hospitalized and only 51 ICU beds available for an area of more than two million people.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave its approval for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine was previously used under an emergency authorization.

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