Not Real News

FILE - This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, The Associated Press reported on a video circulating online incorrectly asserting that man in Wuhan, China, was sanitizing his apartment with alcohol when the air conditioner came on and caused an explosion and fire. The fire captured on video was the result of a cigarette that was improperly put out on a comforter. The comforter then ignited and was placed on a balcony where nearby debris caught fire in Chongqing, China, a city hundreds of miles away from Wuhan. (NIAID-RML via AP)

The seriousness of the coronavirus surge across Kerr County continued on Wednesday after Peterson Health reported 20 new cases and a rise in hospitalizations, and the Texas Department of State Health Services said the county suffered its 19th death. 

There were no details about the death, but it did not occur at Peterson Regional Medical Center, which was caring for 13 coronavirus patients. 

In three days, 62 people have tested positive for the virus — and that’s just at Peterson, where 156 people have tested positive this month. 

Wednesday’s positivity rate was 19% — the highest this month. Since Nov. 9, the positivity rate has been 11% — outside the state’s recommendations for what’s considered safe. 

The increasing numbers have prompted local officials, led by Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn and Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly, to have a community briefing on Friday. That 10:30 a.m. meeting will address where the community stands when it comes to slowing the spread of the virus. 

On Tuesday night, Kerr County Emergency Management Coordinator W.B. “Dub” Thomas urged people to take the virus seriously. 

 “COVID-19 has created a serious situation in the United States and worldwide. Kerr County is not immune. We are just as susceptible,” Thomas said. 

“It’s my hope that more local citizens will begin to recognize the pandemic for what it is and take the very simple steps they can to protect themselves and their families,” Thomas said, adding that the simplest way to protect yourself and others was by wearing a mask in public places.  

“It’s come to my attention that many people in our community mistakenly think that Kerr County is still exempt from the governor’s statewide, mandatory mask order,” Thomas said. “So, let me clarify: We are NOT exempt.”

But where it stands is that the month of November could see the most cases in Kerr County since the pandemic started. With a Nov. 3 screening event hosted at the Hill Country Youth Event Center that added 19 cases to the total, Kerr County has had at least 175 positive cases. In July, Peterson had 183 people test positive. 

This also does not necessarily account for the huge outbreak at Waterside Nursing and Rehabilitation, where 81% of the facility’s 100 patients have tested positive for COVID-19. That reporting is done by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and varies from day to day in its numbers. At least five people have died there, although on Tuesday the state said it was seven, only to reduce it back to five on Wednesday. 

A source who works at the Waterside facility has told The Kerrville Daily Times that seven is accurate.  

If seven deaths is correct, pending the state’s count on Thursday, there would have been eight deaths in Kerrville nursing homes since September. That would drive the Kerr County death toll to at least 27. 

The staff at Waterside has also been hit hard by the virus, according to the Nov. 4 state report, with 28 employees having tested positive by that point in the month. 

In the same state report, Kerrville’s other nursing homes were seeing signs of rising cases among staff members, including at Hilltop Village, River Hills and Alpine Terrace. In total, 48 staff members at Kerrville’s five nursing homes had tested positive at some point between the start of the pandemic and Nov. 4, according to state data. 

On Wednesday, Texas reported more than 8,400 new cases and 187 deaths. The Texas Tribune reported that Gov. Greg Abbott has no intention of returning the state to a lockdown similar to the spring, but is carefully monitoring the metrics. 

The news website reported that public health experts and elected officials acknowledge they are up against a stronger sense of “COVID fatigue” than ever — a malaise that appears to be reflected in the state response.

“The numbers are quite alarming, to be honest, because it’s not showing any sign of slowing down,” said Rajesh Nandy, associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. However, Nandy added, “it seems like at this point, there’s not a lot of will, even among people, for a full-scale stay-at-home (order) like (Abbott) did in March because, of course, it has other consequences.”

(6) comments

Alan Pazdernik

judge kelly was one of those people who felt it was all fake news and the 250k that are dead is just silly news not true - you can look at the folks at heb that do not have a mask on and you just can tell THEY EVEN LOOK LIKE A TRUMPER sorry but it is true as trump wld say not my problem what is is- will not go into why HIS PEOPLE ALL LOOK AT WAY BUT THEY DO

Melissa Parish

It is foolish to show allegiance to a political party at the expense of your health and the health of others. Wise up Kerrville, this is a real thing and it is not political. It is a healthcare emergency.

Mary B. Olden

I agree - the China Virus is scary but unless we, the people, and business owners alike take it seriously and and show that we all care, it will continue to grow and get scarier. Perhaps grocery stores, liquor stores and other commercial entities could not only post signs on their doors requiring masks but could post a person at each door to enforce the signs. NO MASK - NO ENTRY. If all commercial entities were to stand together and make the same requirement, it's very doubtful that someone needing food, liquor, tools or clothes would travel to another town to get what they want or think they need. How can we expect Judge Kelly or any other government official to enforce these mandates if the business owners won't? Our town doesn't have enough law enforcement officers when it comes to criminal matters let alone having the time to look for people breaking a mask rule. This is a Pandemic folks. It is REAL - WAKE UP!!

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: when the president states that this is nothing, not as bad as the flu, will be gone by easter, etc., lots of people took their lead from those statements that were repeated over and over, and once dug in, hard to undig. lots of people would have to say, gosh, I was wrong. president trump mislead me, and they arent going to do that.

but think about this: the easiest way to unify people is to point out (or create) a common enemy. when the virus hit, that was a golden opportunity for trump to be honest and show leadership and he could have united the nation behind him. instead he played his repetitive game of pitting people against each other. had he shown real leadership, I can assure you that most people would gladly be wearing masks. your reference to the china virus is a residual of trumps efforts to split people.

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: do you think that perhaps trump bears a great deal of responsibility for the anti maskers?

Kimberlee Keller

This is just plain scary. I pray that Judge Kelly and Mayor Blackburn will provide a positive response to slow the spread as something drastically needs to be done to "wake up" some of these people who seem to think they are "immune" to following the mask order.

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