The number of COVID-19 cases in Guadalupe County is quickly rising, including increased hospitalizations and new cases, the local hospital reported Friday.
A vast majority of COVID positive patients showing up at the hospital appear to be unvaccinated, Elizabeth McCown, Guadalupe Regional Medical Center public information officer, said in a statement.
“Since June 23, 2021, GRMC has been collecting data solely at our facility on vaccination status of patients hospitalized for COVID-19,” she said. “Eighty percent of the individuals hospitalized at GRMC for COVID-19 in the last 30 days were not fully vaccinated. Of the 52 patients we collected data on, 43 were not fully vaccinated, and nine were vaccinated.”
The hospital and the San Antonio region are experiencing surges in the number of COVID-19 cases, McCown said. The hospital has seen a steady increase of patients admitted the past week, she said.
As of Friday, Guadalupe Regional Medical Center was caring for 17 or more COVID-19 patients, McCown said, as she provided statistics to narrate the situation.
The hospital’s seven-day moving average for COVID hospitalizations was 11 per day, a 75% increase over the prior week, and the seven-day moving average for new COVID admissions was three per day, an increase of 54% more than the prior week, she said.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported COVID cases rising rapidly across the state.
The Department of State Health Services website reported Friday an additional 5,391 new confirmed cases of the virus along with 285 older confirmed cases reported by labs.
The department reported another 1,800 new probable cases and 53 new fatalities related to the coronavirus.
Guadalupe County had seen a total of 12,195 confirmed cases, according to information on the DSHS website.
The evolving situation caused the hospital to enact changes, McCown said.
“Due to the current increase of COVID-19 in our community, GRMC is modifying our visitor policy to protect patients and healthcare workers,” she said. “There will be no visitation allowed for ICU or COVID patients and one visitor will be allowed for other patients.”
Hospital personnel encouraged the public to continue practicing preventative measures to avoid catching and/or spreading the virus.
Getting vaccinated, if your family doctor said you are an appropriate candidate, is the first option, McCown said. Whether vaccinated or not, she suggested continuing to avoid close contact with people who are sick; avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth; covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue; washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and more.
Late last month, county officials announced they were discontinuing regular pandemic-related updates as the situation seemed to have improved. Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Pinder and County Judge Kyle Kutscher said updates would be provided when necessary.
On Friday, Pinder said his office would discuss the current situation Tuesday during a regular meetings of the Guadalupe County Commissioners Court.