Just how bad is the COVID-19 omicron outbreak in Kerr County? Hard to say, but we certainly had some superspreader events on Saturday. With a statewide positivity rate of 37%, Kerr County held large events at the Hill Country Youth Event Center (mostly unmasked), and the Symphony of the Hills performed at the Cailloux Theater (mostly masked).
The outcome? Well, the basic math is 25% (the positivity rate Peterson Health is seeing) or as high as 40% of the people in those events will likely come down with omicron — the fiercely infectious but allegedly mild variant of COVID-19.
On Saturday, as thousands watched the Dallas Cowboys crush the Philadelphia Eagles, the Texas Department of State Health Services said more than 50,000 people tested positive for the virus — marking more than 350,000 in Texas since Dec. 27.
A TALE OF TWO GRAPHS
In these graphics, the DSHS reports confirmed cases in one spreadsheet, but it also reports confirmed test results in the same spreadsheet on a different page. The two numbers don't exactly add up.
HOSPITALIZATIONS ON THE RISE
Hospitalizations continued to rise, including pediatric cases. In the San Antonio region, including Kerr County, 13 pediatric intensive care unit beds remain to serve an area of roughly three million people.
Texas reported a record 400 children hospitalized with COVID-19. On Saturday, NBC News reported that children under five years old that COVID-19 presented at the "croup" — the hacking cough. The good news is that omicron does not appear to attack the lungs as harshly as the alpha and delta variants.
While Peterson Health doesn't report its numbers on the weekend, the hospital had seen a 69% increase in admissions in just five days last week. On Friday, there were 22 people admitted to Peterson Regional Medical Center. If the trend continues, the hospital will be on target for a return to the record numbers of September.
DSHS estimated 276 active cases in Kerr County, but how they calculate that number is unclear. Peterson had at least that many last week and tested 200 people per day at its urgent care center.