The City of Kerrville and other Kerr County local leaders hosted the latest COVID-19 Community Update Friday morning presenting the latest information on coronavirus vaccine efforts in the area. According to Kerrville Fire Chief Eric Maloney the trend in active COVID-19 case counts has continuously been moving downwards with the county reporting 253 cases Thursday, which is down from 498 cases on January 14.
Chief Maloney wants to encourage citizens to remain diligent regarding taking all precautions necessary in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus and continue to be aware of the subtle differences between the virus and Cedar Fever. COVID-19 symptoms that differ include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, loss of taste and a fever of 101.5 degrees and higher.
Currently, Kerr County COVID-19 testing options include: The Franklin Clinic, 723 Hill Country Drive, Kerrville, pre-registration required; Peterson Urgent Care, 1740 Junction Hwy., Kerrville, symptomatic only; Peterson Medical Associates, 575 Hill Country Drive, Suite 101, Kerrville, by appointment only.
There will be another free COVID-19 testing clinic offered February 15-18, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park in Fredericksburg. No appointments or doctor referrals are necessary and results should be found out within 48 hours.
Peterson Regional Medical Center’s CEO Corey Edmondson said that he is confident that almost everyone in Kerr County who falls into the Phase 1A group for COVID-19 vaccinations has now received a shot. This group includes all health care workers. Edmondson says the focus now is on the citizens who encompass the Phase 1B group in Kerr County, which includes those 65 years of age and older and residents aged 16 years and older who have underlying medical conditions.
The most recent statistics show that PRMC has administered more than 17,000 COVID-19 tests. As of Thursday, February 4, Kerr County has reported 78 official fatalities due to the coronavirus.
Peterson continues to offer a COVID-19 Hotline at (830) 896-4200, Option 1. Local officials believe that this week’s vaccination efforts will show state officials that the area acts as a Hub and future vaccine allocations should continue for our county.
Kerr County Emergency Management Coordinator Dub Thomas encourages anyone who has not yet done so, to sign up for the county’s free CodeRed system, which alerts residents of vaccine registration opportunities, as well as other impending emergency announcements. Citizens can log onto the county’s website for more details.
Kerr County is still providing a COVID-19 information portal to answer all questions pertaining to vaccine registrations at (830) 315-5900.
Mayor Bill Blackburn concluded Friday’s Update by saying that two key factors were brought up in last week’s Austin visit regarding the county’s need for continuous vaccines: Kerr County is a collaborative group, Kerr County has the capacity to carry out up to 1,200 vaccines being administered daily.
As of Thursday, the number of Texans with at least one vaccine dose now surpasses the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The first vaccines in Texas were administered on December 14, 2020. Since then, 4,468,000 doses have been allocated to vaccine providers across Texas. Of those, 3,759,950 doses have been physically shipped. A total of 2,755,737 doses, or 73.29%, of those that have been shipped, have been administered to people. Providers across the state are administering an average of 99,825 doses per day.
2.21% of Texans, (619,452), have been fully vaccinated and 6.76% (1,516,833) have been partially vaccinated, based on estimates from July 2019 population statistics. People who have taken one dose are considered partially vaccinated, and the DSHS only counts people aged 16 and above when determining coverage rate. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for a person to be fully vaccinated.
Johnson & Johnson has asked the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use after saying it is 66% effective in global trials. It is a single-dose shot and doesn’t need to be stored or shipped in extremely cold temperatures. The company says it has up to 100 million doses ready for delivery, if given emergency approval, by June.