COVID-19 virus claims two Gillespie residents

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26 active, 137 recovered cases reported on Tuesday

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Two Gillespie County residents have died from the COVID-19 virus, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The deaths were reported by Hill Country Memorial, Gillespie County, the City of Fredericksburg and Texas Department of State Health Services.

Also on Tuesday afternoon, Gillespie County reported 26 active cases and 137 recovered cases.

“We are starting to get a handle on this virus and if we keep wearing our masks and practicing social distancing, we will continue to move in the right direction,” HCM Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Partin said.

Three people were hospitalized as of Tuesday afternoon, but according to Hill Country Memorial officials, not all are Gillespie County residents as HCM sees about 50% of its total patients from other counties in the region.

“While we are only seeing two official deaths reported by DSHS, we will likely see a few more in the coming weeks,” Partin said. “There is a major lag in reporting these numbers as DSHS is now reporting fatality data based on death certificates.”

A death is counted as a COVID-19 fatality when a medical certifier attests on the death certificate that COVID-19 is the cause of death.

“This change means that fatalities may be counted sooner and demographic data will be more comprehensive,” according to information reported to the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post by HCM, Gillespie County Emergency Management and the City of Fredericksburg.

Fatalities are reported by county of residence.

Partin did report that the positive test rate is now down to 12%, the lowest it has been in the last six to eight weeks.

“I think we are starting to see it level off and I think we can attribute that to more people wearing masks, more people practicing social distancing and more hand washing,” Partin said. “If we continue to do all of these things, it will continue to level off. This is a very serious issue and we can all do our part.”

According to information from the City of Fredericksburg, 383 persons were tested on Sunday, July 26, by the Texas Military Department.

“Those tested have been seeing a quick turnaround with their results,” assistant city manager and director of public works and utilities Clinton Bailey said.

Partin did express concerns about schools opening up and students participating in contact sports such as football.

“Maybe in the NFL and the NBA, players can be tested every day but we can’t do that at the high school level,” Partin said.

For more information on Fredericksburg Independent School District’s re-opening plans as well as other area schools, see the related story in this issue of the newspaper.