From staff reports. Last updated Thursday, March 26
Hill Country Memorial staff has now administered 147 tests for the COVID-19 virus, with 63 of those returning negative and 84 pending, officials said Thursday afternoon.
Statewide, the confirmed caseload has risen to 1,396 with 18 deaths.
HCM Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Partin said the hospital has switched to a different private lab for virus test results, which speeds up the turnaround time to about 12 hours.
Partin said yesterday he expects some of those pending test results to be confirmed, given the symptoms some of the patients had shown.
Partin also said there is an online self-check tool for those who suspect they may have contracted the virus. Persons can go to this link from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and click on “Coronavirus Self Checker.” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/
Shelter In Place
Yesterday, hospital officials requested an immediate shelter-in-place order from city and county officials, who have not yet acted on it. An online petition is also asking for the order. www.change.org/p/county-judge-mayor-covid-19-petition-to-shelter-in-place-fredericksburg-gillespie-county
The hospital and some city leaders also expressed concern that people from surrounding areas that had shelter-in-place orders were coming to Gillespie County to either shop or look for things to do. They also feared younger people were not taking the social distancing and isolation requests seriously.
Partin said San Antonio has the most cases of anywhere in the state, and with Fredericksburg’s proximity, the chances of the virus spreading were higher.
Ernie Loeffler, Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau president, said calls to his offices had fallen drastically. Some hotels are reporting about zero occupancy.
Rev. George Lumpkin of Fredericksburg United Methodist Church noted that the Fredericksburg Food Pantry was in need of supplies and that the Hill Country Community Needs Council was serving many new requests.