Somervell County COVID deaths now at 20

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — According to Dr. Steven J. Vacek, Somervell County has had five COVID-19 deaths in the last two months, raising the death toll to 20 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Steven Vacek

“Current infections continue to be attributed to the presence of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2,” he said in a news release issued by Glen Rose Medical Center on Monday. “Based upon genetic analysis of positive test results, at least 98 percent of current COVID-19 cases are due to the Delta variant."

He said that percentage is consistent at the local, state and federal levels. The county fatality rate is 1.46%, while the state fatality rate is 1.56%.

As of Monday, Somervell County has 23 cases, and Vacek said, the county has been on a plateau for the better part of the last three weeks.

“The vast majority (at least 80% in most analyses) of the illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in the state and locally, are in unvaccinated individuals,” he said. “Vaccinated individuals are experiencing breakthrough cases, with some data suggesting that the length of time since being vaccinated may be having some impact on the risk of infection. The data, however, is still far from being conclusive.”

He said hospitalizations have slowly decreased statewide in the last two weeks, but ICU beds continue to be hard to find.

“Most hospitals/systems have been postponing elective surgery cases to improve bed availability for ill patients,” Vacek said. “This is likely to last for at least a couple more weeks.”

He is pushing for vaccinations, which are readily available for anyone 12 and older by contacting a doctor’s office or pharmacy.

“If you choose to not be vaccinated, and have not had the disease, avoiding crowds/social distancing, especially indoors, good hand hygiene, and masking up are the best bet to avoid getting any version of the virus causing COVID-19,” he said.

In August, Glen Rose ISD saw a spike in cases raise to as high as 43 with a majority of those cases at Glen Rose Junior High School. As a precaution, the school closed for nearly a week in early September, but in the subsequent weeks, the number dramatically declined.

As of Wednesday, there were 14 active student cases of COVID-19, and eight of those were at Glen Rose Elementary. According to a district news release, a second-grade class was closed for two school days earlier this week.

There are three active student cases at GRHS, two at GRJH and one at Glen Rose Intermediate. There have been a total of 75 student recoveries this school year (54 at GRJH) and eight staff recoveries.

There were no active staff cases on any of the GRISD campuses, administration or transportation.

“School is in full swing, after an initial outbreak in the junior high school, we have only had sporadic cases on the different campuses of GRISD,” Vacek said.

The entire release can be found on the Glen Rose Medical Center Facebook page.