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Three new COVID deaths reported

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Three new deaths in Bandera County were attributed to COVID-19, bringing the death count since the start of the pandemic to 57, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) as of Monday afternoon.

On the brighter side, DSHS listed eight active cases of COVID-19 in Bandera County as of Monday afternoon. That’s the lowest active case count for the county reported by DSHS since last November.

The news arrives as a study released Monday by DSHS reports Texans not vaccinated against COVID-19 were about 20 times more likely to suffer a COVID-19-associated death and 13 times more likely to test positive than those fully vaccinated.

Although DSHS did not do a county-by-county analysis, Chris Van Deusen, Director of Media Relations, told the Bulletin Monday afternoon “There’s no reason to believe there’s a significant difference from one county to another.”

“This analysis quantifies what we’ve known for months,” said Chief State Epidemiologist Jennifer Shuford, MD. “The COVID-19 vaccines are doing an excellent job of protecting people from getting sick and from dying from COVID-19. Vaccination remains the best way to keep yourself and the people close to you safe from this deadly disease.”

According to DSHS’ report, analysis of data from September 4 to October 1 shows vaccination had a strong protective effect across all ages. While the impact varied across age groups, it was most pronounced in younger groups.

According to a DSHS press release, public health researchers focused specifically on the September period to measure the effect of COVID-19 vaccination as the Delta variant spread across Texas.

DSHS said the risk of COVID-19 death was 48 times higher in unvaccinated people in their 30s and 63 times higher for people in their 40s, compared with their vaccinated peers.

There were fewer than 10 COVID-19 deaths among fully vaccinated people ages 18 to 29 compared with 339 deaths among unvaccinated people in the same age group, according to DSHS.

A summary with a link to the full analysis, including data from a January 15 through Oct. 1 period, is available at dshs.texas.gov/immunize/ covid19/data/vaccinationstatus.aspx.

As in Bandera, the amount of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop, with 22,023 reported by the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University in the past week. New deaths stood at 775, also a decrease.