The weekend COVID-19 data received from local and state officials shows new cases continue to increase.
For the Jan. 9-11 report, there were 48 new confirmed positive COVID cases in Colorado County, and 27 recoveries.
The 14 day new case count is currently at 137, and the TSA Q Hospital Capacity is at 25.33% per SETRAC website.
DSHS is the agency that normally reports the regional hospital capacity, however, the site’s reportings have been delayed as of late.
There are currently 14 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths for Colorado County.
Eagle Lake has the largest number of active COVID cases with 25. Columbus has 15 active COVID cases and Weimar has 19.
On Jan. 6, county officials responded to a rumor that local bars would be closing again due to the regional hospital capacity being over 15 percent for COVID cases.
“This is false,” Colorado County Office of Emergen cy Management Coordinator Charles “Chuck” Rogers said. “ In fact, the opposite is true. Judge Ty Prause is working with several bars and other establishments to try to keep them open. Last night, information was provided to the businesses that was sent by TDEM (Texas Department of Emergency Management) that would assist them in modifying their current licenses to keep them legally operating.
While GA32 is state law, enforcement activities and responsibilities to do not fall under the Colorado County Judge or Comissioner’s Court. Any closing of bars or other type establishments fall under the control of TABC.”
If the percentage of COVID-19 patients in a hospital region exceeds 15 percent for seven consecutive days, many businesses in the region would be ordered to reduce capacity to 50 percent, and Bars with a TABC 51 percent Red License would be ordered to close in accordance with Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide orders.
Vaccine availability frustrations grow
Citizens, particularly older citizens ages 60 and above, are growing more frustrated with the rocky start the county has experienced with getting the vaccines available to administer to all first responders and the public.
Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine began arriving in Texas the second week of December, however, the limited supply is reserved for front-line workers and those at the highest risk.
State officials have said that older people and other people with qualifying health conditions will be next in line to receive the vaccine, but exactly when that will happen in each county is anybody’s guess.
James Vanek, CEO of Columbus Community Hospital issued the following statement, “In accordance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order, the 300 doses were given to Colorado County First Responders. We are very sensitive in distributing the COVID Vaccine. We are awaiting Texas Department Health Services on allocations for our community. For further updates, go to www.columbusch. com and click on COVID vaccine info.”
Rice Medical Center in Eagle Lake stated, “There has been considerable frustration by many seeking the COVID-19 vaccine. Although we at Rice Medical Center have applied to be a vaccine provider, our application is in pending status as the State has been overrun by applicants. Once we receive our allotments of the vaccines, we are prepared to administer them quickly. Until that time, please visit the Texas State Department of Health Services website where they have a handy tool to search for those having received vaccines.”
While vaccines remain unavailable in Colorado County at this time, there are no residency requirements to take the vaccine. If a pharmacy in another city or county has the vaccine and you qualify under the current Tier Plan, you can receive the vaccine at that location.
You can search by location and range here: https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/ index.html?id=91ac7fb5e5fd47e7ad-a4acfe4a05920a&fbclid=IwAR1zIiX-JSKoc_OBlDhwwRJle0rwwxdg-FAN_2mvj3qYaSHb_x9sZwhwqTMHQ