Positivity rate, hospitalizations down, but more lives claimed

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Schools helped by parents assessing students with symptoms

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Active COVID-19 cases decreased in Gillespie County over the past week, but there was an increase in the death count.

Two other county residents succumbed to the illness over the week, bringing the county’s fatality count to nine, said Dr. Jim Partin, chief medical officer at Hill Country Memorial. Those patients were hospitalized elsewhere and Partin did not have information about the patients.

Local numbers did otherwise trend positive however, as the number of active cases decreased from 14 to 12 over the past week.

Also, the positive rate was down from 8% to 5%. There was only one patient hospitalized at Hill Country Memorial due to COVID-19, Partin said.

“Things are looking better than last week, so I hope that keeps up,” Partin said.

 

School district

Fredericksburg Independent School District is still reporting one case of COVID-19 and 40 in students in isolation.

“Three of the four cases in the district are past their quarantine and on Friday, the last one will come back,” Supt. Dr. Jeffrey Brasher said.

The 40 students who were quarantined at FES will return to the classroom on Friday, as well.

Brasher gave kudos to parents for keeping kids home who are symptomatic.

“Of course, our attendance is not great, but other than that, everyone is working hard and we’re working hard to keep everyone healthy,” Brasher said. “We’re just in a good spot right now and we hope it continues.”

 

Labor Day

Penny McBride, president and CEO of the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce, noted that she saw a “mixed bag” of COVID-19 compliance during the busy Labor Day weekend.

“I saw certain places doing exceptionally well and I saw some places that had some lapses,” McBride said.

Most of the people not complying, she said, were visitors to local establishments instead of employees.

In an interview later, Partin reminded everyone that “we are not over” this pandemic.

“I think the next 14 days will tell how well we’ve done,” Partin said. “I anticipate not very well.”

 

Disaster declaration

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Tuesday extending a disaster declaration for all Texas counties in response to COVID-19.

The declaration, originally issued on March 13, provides the state with a  variety of resources as the state continues to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“Renewing this declaration helps ensure that we have the resources and strategies in place to help communities across Texas respond to COVID-19,” Abbott said. “I urge Texans to take precautionary steps to protect their health by wearing a mask, social distancing and sanitizing hands. Working together, we can slow the spread and keep our communities safe.”