10 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths reported in 8-day span for Medina County

April 15 update:

Another Medina County resident hospitalized in 15th case

Medina County is reporting its 15th case of COVID-19.

“This case is in the 78886-zip code. This individual is believed to have acquired the virus by community spread and is hospitalized,” a press release states.

“The county is also reporting two (2) additional cases as recovered. Given the increases in community spread throughout the United States, all individuals are at some risk of exposures to COVID-19. Everyone should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, practice social distancing, and stay home if they become sick, except to seek necessary medical care. The Texas Department of State Health Services is supporting Medina County in identifying any close contacts of the patient, so they can be isolated, monitored for symptoms, and quickly tested, if needed.”

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From April 14:

This April, we have seen cases rise steadily in Medina County with a new case being reported nearly every day since April 4th. Ten new cases and 2 deaths were reported within an 8-day span from Saturday, April 4th to Saturday, April 11th, 2020.

The first local case was reported on March 17, with ten more days passing by before our 2nd and 3rd cases were reported on March 27.

The following is a breakdown of cases by date they were reported by Medina County:

3/17/20- 1st case

3/27/20- 2nd and 3rd cases

4/4/20- 4th case

4/6/20- 5th and 6th cases

4/7/20- 7th case

4/8/20- 8th and 9th cases and 1st local Death

4/9/20- 10th case

4/10/20- 11th and 12th cases

4/11/20- 13th case and 2nd local Death

4/14/20- 14th case

Medina County has 14 cases overall, with the most recent case reported around 5pm Tuesday evening.

Monday morning, Patricia Mechler from the Medina County Health Unit had reported that “Six of these cases are considered Community Transmission, which means we don’t know where it came from (That number has risen to 7 Community Transmission cases as of Tuesday). Five are considered travel-related, which means it was acquired somewhere outside of Medina County. Two of the cases are classified as being acquired by Close Contact, which means members of a household.

In addition, “We are tracking contacts of those confirmed cases within our county; that is part of what public health does,” Mechler said.

“Within our local clinics and hospital we have tested a total of 48 people. That number does not include local residents who went to a clinic in San Antonio to be tested or to the Freeman Coliseum. I do know that at least 12 people were referred to go to the coliseum to be tested,” Mechler said.

Mechler, who is in contact and monitoring local COVID patients by phone stated they are seeing a wide variety of responses to the virus in local cases. She notes loud and clear that things can go downhill very fast.

“Healthy people can get COVID-19 and die from it,” Mechler said. “We are seeing such a wide range of what’s happening with local cases.”

“It can take a turn very quickly, and you can end up in the hospital very quickly, on a ventilator. It’s not something we want mess around with, when respiratory issues come into play. If someone has trouble breathing that’s not something we want you to sit at home with and question thinking maybe you’ll get over this. It’s just too scary, you need to call 911 and get into a hospital,” Mechler said.

“If someone starts to develop respiratory issues, we are going to be very concerned. I’m going to be calling everyday watching that. I’ve had some people pull through and have a really rough time with it. We’ve also had two people end up in the hospital, and sadly we’ve had two deaths,” Mechler adds. “No one should be thinking they can get this and that they are just going to be fine. It’s scary….Even a healthy person can end up with respiratory symptoms that just get worse and worse and end up in a hospital and on a ventilator very quickly.”

“It’s been a really scary thing seeing how that dry cough can progresses, and end up with people in the ER,” Mechler said. “If you started out with mild symptoms, by day 7 or 8 I would say I’m hoping you are starting to recover….But if around that time, the cough is getting worse and you are starting to develop respiratory symptoms, that is not a good sign and we need to watch that person closely.”

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If you have symptoms, it is easy to get tested. She urges residents not to put it off if you are having symptoms.

“If you even have a cough, you can get a test,” Mechler said. “Use the symptom checker on our website.”

She added that, “You shouldn’t be at work while you are waiting on a test result.”

A huge amount of COVID patients have no symptoms, and no idea they are spreading it.

Judge Schuhart stated that “Roughly 30-50% of people with COVID have no symptoms; they may be asymptomatic but they are just as dangerous to others who may have a harder time.”

“In fact one of our cases was positive for COVID and had no symptoms,” Lutz pointed out. “They only got tested because they had exposure to a family member with COVID.”

“Right now in Texas, they are saying only about 1 in 300 have been tested for COVID, yet so many people have it and have mild or no symptoms. And our lag time is still about 7 days because officials have been focused on getting tests to people who are in the hot spots like New York. New York, they are testing people as easily as they test for the flu. As our testing capability changes, we will be testing more and more in Texas,” Lutz said.

“We have not hit our projected peak yet, but once we do, even the recovery phase is going to be a long process including more testing and stringent requirements on how we do business…..Not only will we be recovering, but we will also be mitigating against our next round,” Lutz said.

Schuhart noted, “When you come into contact with one or two people, your exposure multiplies by however many contacts each of those people have had.”

“As part of my job, I make a lot of phone calls to local businesses, and some of them tell me we are overreacting or that this is not a big deal…..and I tell them–you are part of the problem if you have that attitude,” Schuchart adds. “We all need to be taking this seriously.”

Mechler stated she did not know of any food-service related cases, except school workers who began quarantining due to exposure to COVID.

“We have seen a few issues come up having to do with food service in Devine, Castroville and Lytle schools, and I understand that’s an area where we would want to be extra careful. I believe all of those schools took a very proactive approach and are handling it well.”

“I think it’s important to note that we have not yet reached our expected peak of COVID cases in Texas,” Lutz stated, “They are saying that could happen anywhere from April 26 to May 5th from the projections I’m hearing.”