No matter how long it takes the Texas Department of State Health Services to compile the data, the outcome shows a stark picture of what's happening across the state with COVID-19, including here in Kerr County.
DSHS said a Kerr County resident died on Jan. 7 — marking the second death this month from COVID-19. The report comes on a day when DSHS said more than 57,000 people were positive for the virus, and there were 133 new deaths confirmed.
The only good news is that hospitalizations rose slightly across the state on Friday — but remained below 12,000 people admitted. Pediatric admissions remained high, with 471 children hospitalized across the state with COVID-19.
A new downloadable DSHS spreadsheet showed three Kerr County deaths in 2022, but another document only shows two. The Lead believes the death toll is far higher — more than 200. The DSHS tally is 145.
In one swoop, Peterson Health on Friday showed that we are nowhere close to being done with COVID-19 after reporting another 218 cases — 435 in four days. More troubling, Peterson Regional Medical Center said 32 patients are hospitalized, including six in intensive care.
At Kerrville Independent School District, 227 students and staff were out sick with COVID-19 as of Friday. In two weeks, the district has surpassed the surge seen by the delta variant in August and September. Data from the Texas Education Agency showed Ingram Independent School District has more than 30 active cases.
As of Friday, more than 500 Kerr County residents are sick with COVID-19. By averaging more than 80 cases per day, Kerr County has blown past several models and warnings from medical institutions about positivity rates. Right now, Kerr County's seven-day average is 82 people testing positive.
A forecasting model from the Mayo Clinic estimated the worst of the virus would be Sunday — with 100 cases or more. That was a worst-case scenario. The Mayo Clinic's baseline model suggested that the county wouldn't hit 100 cases until Jan. 22, but Kerr County has blown past that.
Another forecasting tool, developed by an emergency room physician at Harvard, suggested mitigation efforts should occur at 60 cases per day.
Across the state, some movement was underway to re-institute some mask-wearing and prevention in the face of Gov. Greg Abbott's orders against mandates.