Matagorda County officials say they are flattening the COVID-19 curve.
The county has 50 confirmed positive cases of the novel coronavirus with 11 patients recovered and three deaths, which are the only deaths reported in the Crossroads. One new case was reported Monday. The patient is a woman, who is between 20 and 30 years old. She currently being isolated at home. The case is not related to out-of-state travel.
“We’re making measurable progress,” County Judge Nate McDonald said.
County officials now look to Gov. Greg Abbott for its next moves to hopefully reopen businesses soon, McDonald said.
“My thought is we’re going to get a plan from the governor. My belief is that he will continue to encourage social distancing and discourage social gathering,” he said. “We’re going to follow what he tells us.”
McDonald said during a Facebook Live briefing that he believes a tiered system will be used to slowly reopen businesses to reignite the local economy in as short amount of time as possible.
“Though we are making progress, we are not out of the woods yet,” McDonald said. “We’re about to get back to work, but bear with us. Please don’t go before the time is right.”
Bay City Mayor Robert Nelson said residents in the county and the city need to continue following the current stay at home orders to continue to slow the spread of the virus.
“Things may be changing, but until that time, we need to stay on the track we are on,” he said. “Some (people) think we are trying to take their rights away. That is not our intent. Our intent is to keep you healthy and save lives.”
The stay-at-home order is being enforced by law enforcement agencies within the county. It requires that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 and stay more than 6 feet apart when out in public.
Despite the stay-at-home order, Nelson said he’s heard of people still gathering or disregarding doctors’ orders.
“I received phone calls and heard stories of those who are infected out and about,” he said. “We have got to stop this spread before someone else gets infected, or worse, dies.”
The Crossroads now has 202 total COVID-19 cases with a slight increase reported Monday. Testing continues throughout the Crossroads.
Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Calhoun County, officials said Monday afternoon. In all, 18 people tested positive for the new disease, eight of which have since recovered.
Officials suggested county residents wear a face covering or mask in public.
“We want people to think about how their actions can put others at risk,” officials said in a news release.
All piers and parks owned by Calhoun County, and all public beaches, are still closed, and will be closed through April 15.
A drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 will open Tuesday at a Wharton hospital.
The new site will be at the Wharton campus of the OakBend Medical Center, 10141 U.S. 59.
After it opens Tuesday, the drive-thru site will be open every weekday from 9 a.m. to noon, according to a news release from hospital officials. The drive-thru will only be open to people who have been screened via a telehealth visit. To schedule a telehealth visit, call 281-238-7870. Those who meet criteria will be scheduled for a test, according to a news release.
For patients who have Medicaid or Medicare, the cost of the telehealth visit will be charged to their insurer. Patients with private insurance, which includes insurance you get through your employer, and patients who do not have insurance will be charged a $40 fee for the initial telehealth visit.
For the test itself, patients without insurance or who are paying out of pocket will be charged $100. Patients with insurance through Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance will have the cost of the test billed to their insurance company.
Patients who have the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and who have an additional risk factor will be prioritized for testing. The risk factors include people older than 65 years old, people who have a serious underlying health condition, and health care workers with suspected exposure.
Patients will not leave their car while the samples are taken in the drive-thru, and test results are expected to take 24 to 48 hours, according to the news release.
Nationwide, challenges of getting tested for the new coronavirus have made it difficult for communities to know how many people are actually sick. Victoria’s drive-thru sample collection site has temporarily closed because there are not enough supplies to collect samples from patients.
A tenth case of COVID-19 in a DeWitt County resident was confirmed Monday, local officials said.
The sick patient is a resident of Yorktown and is currently hospitalized in a Victoria hospital, according to a news release from county officials. The state’s health department would not confirm the age or sex of the patient, according to the new release.
In all, five people who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 in the county have recovered.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of total positive cases of COVID-19 in Wharton County.