On Tuesday night, Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn asked Fire Chief Eric Maloney if a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention metric identified Kerr County as a COVID-19 hotspot. Maloney said he wasn't aware of one off the top of his head.
So, we dug back into the CDC website, and sure enough, they rate Kerr County as a substantial risk for COVID-19 transmission. This should come as no surprise because most of Texas is at significant risk for transmission. Six Texas counties are considered low risk.
The data tells an interesting story about how the delta variant of COVID-19 appears to have kept people hospitalized longer compared to the previous 2020 spike. The data shows Peterson Regional Medical Center routinely had more than 30% of its beds filled with COVID-19 patients. The intensive care unit was even more impacted. Hospital utilization shows that Peterson Regional Medical Center is nearly full — without COVID-19 patients.
The good news is Kerr County's positivity rate is now about 6%, but that could also be misleading. Self-test results are not required to be reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Of course, all of this comes as omicron shows up in Bexar County two weeks before Christmas.
On Wednesday, Peterson Health said it had 10 new positive cases (seven of those unvaccinated) and the four hospitalized, including one in the intensive care unit. Across Texas, it proved to be another day of more than 3,000 new cases. Since Thanksgiving, Texas has had 2,000 cases or more every day.