The number of Kerr County COVID-19 cases made a dramatic shift upward on Wednesday when Peterson Health reported 217 people tested positive since Monday.
The news comes on a day when the Texas Department of State Health Services said 75,000 people tested positive or were probable for COVID-19 — the agency's biggest one-day total ever. Even more concerning are hospitalizations, continuing their incremental creep upward past 11,000 admissions through Tuesday.
Since Saturday, more than 350 people have tested positive, but the pace appears to be quickening. DSHS estimates more than 400 Kerr County residents have the virus. A forecast model developed by the Mayo Clinic suggested Kerr County would hit 100 cases or more per day on Jan. 15 — as a worst-case scenario. The model said the most likely outcome was 100 cases per day by Jan. 22. Right now, Kerr County is trending 30% above that model — with 71 cases per day.
Another model, developed in part by Brigham and Women's Hospital emergency department physician Dr. Jeremy Faust, said Kerr County should apply "circuit breakers" if the county reached more than 60 positive cases per day. Faust wrote that these "circuit breakers" are short-term solutions, including closing restaurants to slow the spread of the virus and protect hospital staff and operations.
On Wednesday, children coming down with COVID-19 reached an all-time high with 429 pediatric admissions. It was a wave of bad news as the omicron variant continued to wreak havoc across Texas and the United States.
If the stats are accurate, the only good news is that positivity fell to 35% — the first day-over-day decline in weeks.
Still, the sheer number of cases and those seeking care is on a pace to swamp the state's healthcare system. In Kerr County, Peterson Regional Medical Center said 25 people are hospitalized, including five in the intensive care unit. Those numbers are still within Peterson's ability to manage the surge, according to Cory Edmondson, who spoke to The Lead on Tuesday when Peterson's census was 21 patients.
The situation, however, across the San Antonio region continued to deteriorate, with 54 ICU beds remaining. There are more than 600 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the region.