Recent rise in cases attributed to lax attitude on masks, school spread


There are currently 22 active COVID-19 cases in Gillespie County, and one hospitalized virus patient, Hill Country Memorial Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Partin said Tuesday afternoon.

Gillespie County saw an uptick in positive tests last week, but most did not required hospitalization and the number has trended lower in subsequent days.

Last week, Partin said the reasons for the rise in cases were some spread at local school campuses, as well as some lax use of masks and enforcement of the town’s mask ordinance.

On Tuesday, Partin said he hoped residents and visitors would continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing when possible and wash hands frequently.

             City Manager Kent Myers reported that the last free testing event had 269 tests administered, with 229 of those from Gillespie County. Only two tests showed positive results.

             But with the rise in cases nationally, Myers said last week the staff at City Hall was receiving more calls and complaints about people not wearing masks. Myers said emails and phone calls in the past 10 days show more people are becoming complacent about mask wearing.

             “We’re going to start tracking the number of complaints we get and share it at future meetings,” Myers said. “But it does seem like people are neglecting to wear their mask.”

             Upcoming future walk-up testing will be held from 8 a.m-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18 at Marktplatz.


Stress effects

             Gillespie County Commissioner Donnie Schuch said county law enforcement personnel have shared with him that there has been a rise in domestic violence incidents, along with more cases in mental issues, drug use and public intoxication cases.

             “I think the stress of what’s going on is having an effect on what this pandemic is doing to our public,” Schuch said. “It’s distressing to me, and there seems to be an indirect link.”