Kerr County’s coronavirus cases rose on Thursday with three new cases, including one where the person has been hospitalized — the first such case to be admitted to Peterson Regional Medical Center.
Another one of the positive cases was of a city of Kerrville employee, who has been out of the office for more than a week since telling city leaders of a possible exposure to the virus. Stuart Cunyus, spokesman for the city, said other employees were immediately tested and those results were negative. However, the employee who was initially exposed ended up testing positive on Thursday.
“City Hall employees have been required to take temperatures each day before reporting to work since the onset of the pandemic, and masks and sanitation measures put into place several weeks ago are still being practiced,” the city said in a news release.
More than 1,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus at Peterson Health, the Texas National Guard and local doctors. The Kerrville Fire Department screened more than 600 patients and staff at Kerrville-area nursing homes.
In these latest cases, two are still being investigated but one of the cases was from community spread. There are currently 10 active cases that are known inside of Kerr County. It is unclear if an H-E-B employee who tested positive after working in the Main Street store was a Kerr County resident.
That also demonstrates some of the challenge of gathering information about the virus’ spread in the county, because every agency has their own way of reporting information. The state officially still only lists Kerr County with just 17 cases. On Tuesday, there were conflicting numbers from city, county and health officials about the 18th case.
All of this comes on the heels of what has been another week in a rise of cases across Texas, including more than 1,800 new cases on Thursday, which was a single-day record for the state. The virus has hospitalized more than 1,700 people — a number that has been relatively steady since April 5.
Leaders with the Texas Department of State Health Services blamed the rise on the number on the Memorial Day Weekend, where there were smaller numbers reported. Gov. Greg Abbott said he’s monitoring key metrics, including the percentage of those testing positive versus the number of tests administered and the hospitalization rate.
The positivity rate has been low for Texas — less than 6% according to The Texas Tribune.
Pam Burton, Peterson Health’s infection control nurse, said it remains imperative that people take precautions. While there has been confusion among local leaders about the actual number of cases, there has been uniformity among first responders and medical professionals to take the virus seriously.
“As we have seen our new cases almost daily, and three just added today, we remind you of the importance of the CDC and Texas Department of State Health recommendations,” Burton said.
Burton recommended the following:
- -Continue to practice social distancing.
- -Limit unnecessary travel, especially to known hot spots.
- -Be prudent in your activities.
- -Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- -Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- -Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- -Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- -Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; don’t go to work if you’re sick.
The city of Kerrville said it will take measures to prevent coronavirus infections in its facilities. The city noted people have options other than in-person visits if they want to pay utility bills, such as:
Online at https://kerrvilletx.gov/316/Utility-Billing.
By phone with a customer service representative at 830-258-1504 (available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Automated phone service for payments at 833-262-5903.
Drive thru services at 701 Main Street (available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Drop box located at 701 Main Street for payments or applications for service.
Pay by mail.