County sees 'significant increase' in COVID-19 cases after testings

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Fredericksburg’s two recent testing events at Pioneer Pavilion in Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park sent local positive COVID-19 cases skyrocketing.

The events, on Nov. 11 and Nov. 15, tested a total of 1,204 Gillespie County residents. Of those, 538 residents were tested on Nov. 11, with 72 positive results, or a 13.4% positivity rate. On Nov. 15, 666 people were tested and 107, or 16.1% of them, received positive results.

“We are providing the results summary from the community testing events to the public to be transparent with what we know,” said city Public Information Officer Lea Feuge. “DSHS is receiving a very high volume of test information daily due to the immense number of positive cases across the entire state which they are vetting for accuracy prior to adding to their public facing database. The time it will take for these local cases to be reflected in the DSHS dashboard information is unknown.”

The next testing event will be Monday, Nov. 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pioneer Pavilion.

“As is the case in many other parts of the country, with the weather turning cooler, Gillespie County is experiencing a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases,” Gillespie County Judge Mark Stroeher said. “With the holiday season approaching and people wanting to gather for celebrations, this is not the time for us to relax or let our guard down. I strongly encourage folks to continue to do all those things that we have stressed from the beginning of this pandemic — especially, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and exercise social distancing wherever possible.

“If cases continue to rise, we are in jeopardy of overwhelming our local health care system. We all need to do our part so that we can get to the other side of this pandemic together.”

Newly elected Mayor Charlie Kiehne also added his concerns.

“Due to the upsurge we are seeing in local COVID-19 cases, I am asking that all of Fredericksburg’s citizens and visitors please follow mask and social distancing guidelines,” Kiehne said. “I think it’s important to remember that you’re not necessarily wearing a mask for yourself but to help protect those around you.”

For more information on the upcoming community testing events, visit the city’s website at www.fbgtx.org.