Officials eye new hospitalizations as positive testing rate slowly rises
The positive trend in last week’s COVID-19 data has taken a slight turn for the worse.
Hospitalizations rose from one to seven patients at Hill Country Memorial over the past week.
The severity of cases varied, according to Dr. Jim Partin, chief medical officer at HCM. Two of the hospitalized patients are from Mason County and one is from East Texas, he said, in addition to local patients.
“No one is on a ventilator at this point,” Partin said. “We do have one patient on a bipap machine (used for respiratory illnesses) and the rest on nasal oxygen.”
He added they might be able to transition two out of the hospital soon.
Jayne Pope, HCM’s chief executive officer, said given the recent spike, administrators will review the hospital’s visitation policy.
“We’re always going to be flexible to what’s happening in the number of in-patients that we have, and ensuring that we have the right practices in place to protect our patients,” Pope said.
Over the past seven days, the local positivity rate has increased to 8%, Partin said.
“It’s been rising very slowly,” Partin said. “We were at 5% about 10 or 14 days ago, but we’re still way behind our top, which was about 16% back about three or four weeks ago.”
The Fredericksburg Independent School District also saw its first case in a student at Fredericksburg Elementary School.
The child is doing well and is isolating at home, Supt. Dr. Jeff Brasher said. However, as the student had come in contact with classmates in his learning pod, as well as another pod, 40 students and two teachers had to quarantine for 14 days. Those classes are learning remotely.
As of now, there have been no other positive tests within the campus or the district.
“The feedback I’ve gotten from principals is that everyone’s done a great job in wearing their masks,” Brasher said. “There were a few struggles there, but overall, I feel confident that people are taking this seriously.”
Brasher added the school was deep cleaned before and after the students and teachers went home.
A City of Fredericksburg COVID-19 screening event at the Basketball Pavilion at Old Fair Park Saturday, Aug. 19, tested 116 people.
“We don’t know what to attribute that to, the weather or people just declining interest in getting tested,” City Manager Kent Myers said.
Results from the event haven’t been received by the city, but Myers said there was at least one positive case.