Refugio County Memorial Hospital

Refugio County Memorial Hospital

A Refugio County resident has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Thursday.

The patient, a man in his 50s, is the first county resident to test positive for the disease, though more than 300 cases have been reported throughout the Crossroads. The patient is currently in isolation, according to a news release from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“The odds were against us – we did assume we’d eventually see a positive case,” said Hoss Whitt, Refugio County Memorial Hospital’s CEO. “We’ve been very fortunate that it’s taken this long.”

The case was community acquired, according to the release.

COVID-19 cases by county

County Total Recoveries Deaths
Calhoun 596 564 4
Goliad 157 126 3
DeWitt 775 681 31
Jackson 494 443 6
Lavaca 673 651 7
Refugio 254 223 10
Victoria 3,763 3,495 67
Matagorda 887 561 38
Wharton 1,223 453 28
9-County total 8,822 7,197 194
•Editor’s note: These counts are updated daily. Total case counts include confirmed, pending investigation and probable cases reported by DSHS.

County officials are focusing on getting information out and bringing awareness to the public about the case, said Sheldon Wiginton, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

“We’re not invincible,” he said about the county seeing its first positive case. “We won’t be slowing down keeping people informed on what goes on.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services is supporting Refugio County in identifying any close contacts of the patient so they can be isolated and monitored for symptoms, according to the release.

Officials believe the patient was tested for COVID-19 at a facility other than Refugio County Memorial Hospital, Whitt said. Officials also do not believe he was tested at the COVID-19 mobile testing site in the county run by the Texas National Guard on April 23.

First and foremost, County Judge Robert Blaschke said he hopes the resident makes a full recovery.

“I hope their health is maintained and restored,” he said. “And I hope that anyone he came in contact with has not contracted the virus.”

His next priority, he said, is to encourage residents to do their part to limit the spread of the virus further.

“With this being the first case, our residents have done a good job making the right choices to protect themselves and others,” he said. “But there are many opportunities to introduce spread of the virus, so it’s important we keep doing so.”

Blaschke pointed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s new order, which goes into effect Friday, as a “good strategy” to reopen the state with caution and keep people safe. He said he couldn’t speak to whether or not he believes more COVID-19 cases will show up in the county because of the many factors that play a role in spread of the disease.

“It’s hard to predict those things,” he said. “You hope it doesn’t, so you try to over prepare, and hope that pays off.”

Refugio County residents are urged to continue practicing social distancing recommendations and do their part to prevent spread of the virus, Whitt said.

“It’s our own responsibility, our own personal actions that will keep us safe,” he said. “As long as residents do that, the risk of contracting this virus is still very low.”

Calhoun County

A second drive-thru COVID-19 test site will be open in Calhoun County on Tuesday.

Registration and location information for the site will be released on Sunday, officials said. A drive-thru testing site was first in Calhoun County on April 21.

The county has reported 30 cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday. Seventeen residents have recovered and three have died.

Lavaca County

A free mobile testing site will be at the Yoakum Community Center, 105 Huck St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Lavaca County officials announced.

To be eligible for testing, you must have one or more symptoms of COVID-19: fever or chills; cough; fatigue; body aches; shortness of breath; sore throat; headaches; nausea or vomitting; nasal congestion; and loss of taste or smell.

All tests will be scheduled in advance, and patients will be given appointments for tests. To schedule a test, call 512-883-2400 or sign up online at txcovidtest.org.

Jackson County

Two more Jackson County residents have contracted COVID-19, bringing the total for the county to eight.

The patients’ genders and ages are unknown, but they are currently isolating in their respective homes, according to a news release from the county.

It’s suspected that one patient contracted the virus from a household member, and the other patient contracted it from a non-household member, according to the release.

Both are experiencing mild symptoms.

Wharton County

One new case of COVID-19 was reported in Wharton County on Thursday.

The patient is a man between the ages of 50 and 60 who lives in the East Bernard area, according to a county news release.

The new case brings the county’s total to 38. Of those cases, 20 have recovered.

Additionally, the front doors to most Wharton County government office buildings will be open to the public for walk-in and appointment meetings starting Monday. Visitors and employees are reminded to practice social distancing and to have no more than 10 people gather in an area at a time.

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Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter

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Local Government Reporter

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter.

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