NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — In Comal County, only one person has tested positive for coronavirus so far. The travel-related case was confirmed Wednesday. County leaders say health officials have been notified of 25 tests so far.  

Nonetheless, health professionals in the community are readying to help patients showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

Staff at a freestanding ER and adjoined urgent care in New Braunfels says they expect more positive cases in the coming weeks.

“We are 100% ready to take care of whatever it comes to our door,” said Robbyn Hopper, a nurse and facility administrator at Riverside ER in New Braunfels.

She and Dr. Adaeze Nwosu explained their facility has policies for helping patients showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. It allows them to continue helping others who need other kinds of medical care.

“We do have signs that say if you feel like you have been exposed, please call this number and stay in your car,” Hopper said. “We are going to triage them through a process of keeping them safe and keeping other any other patients that we have safe, getting them to an isolation room. We are going by many (Centers for Disease Control) standards and protocols that have been set forth with some screening processes."

Staff will wear personal protective equipment when interacting with patients who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

“When we have a patient that we feel meets the criteria, we can swab them,” Nwosu said. “Then we actually have Quest Laboratories run it for us at the moment. The turnaround time is about 48 hours.”

County-wide, 25 tests have been reported to the Office of Public Health. Only one confirmed case of coronavirus has been announced at this point.

“There's testing in progress, I think probably every facility in in New Braunfels,” Hopper said. “We're going to see numbers going up quite substantially because of the testing … which wasn't (available) at the very beginning of the outbreak.”

Patients with other health concerns can call or visit the facility. There’s also an option to check in online. The Crossing Urgent Care next door expects to operate through telehealth starting next week. After a virtual appointment, some patients may still need to visit the building for tests.

“We answer every call and our goal is to … explain the process and explain their risk factors to them and at least help defuse a lot of the fear that is out there,” Nwosu said. 

Riverside ER is open 24/7. You can call the facility at: (830) 240-9055.

Comal County has a hotline set up for questions regarding the coronavirus. You can dial (830) 221-1120 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Health Officials plan to update test numbers for Comal County each morning. The data can be found by visiting this web site: Emergency Preparedness (COVID-19)

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