Health officials aren’t sure whether those with COVID-19 could later contract the virus again.
Goliad County officials reported Monday that a resident who had previously contracted the virus and later listed as recovered, tested positive again. The second positive test result came two weeks after the initial positive test.
Dr. John McNeill, Victoria’s public health authority, said health officials don’t know enough about the auto immunity that comes with the virus. He said it is hard to say whether someone can recontract the virus after they recover.
“We don’t know what kind of immunity someone gets from COVID-19,” the doctor said.
McNeill said those who contract a disease typically build immunities to that disease. COVID-19 should be the same, but it’s unknown whether that is the case.
COVID-19 cases by county
|•Editor’s note: These counts are updated daily. Total case counts include confirmed, pending investigation and probable cases reported by DSHS.|
“We just don’t have the information yet. It’s a novel virus, it’s brand new,” he said. “We don’t know exactly what to expect.”
Erin Clevenger, chief nursing officer at Memorial Medical Center, said in Calhoun County she doesn’t suspect people are contracting the virus for a second time. She suspects people are being moved to the “recovered” list too early, and they test positive again.
She suspects Calhoun County is not alone.
Patients are deemed “recovered” when three days have passed since they had a fever, there is an improvement in respiratory symptoms and seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Calhoun County officials are also dealing with the death of the third county resident from COVID-19.
The resident’s age and gender were not readily available.
Clevenger said the person did not die at Memorial Medical Center, and the notice of the death came directly from the Texas Department of State and Health Services. She did not know any of the patient’s information.
Calhoun County has 30 total positive COVID-19 cases, with 15 recovered.
County Judge Nate McDonald said the county will follow Gov. Greg Abbott’s lead to reopen local businesses.
“On May 1, citizens of Matagorda County can leave their homes for essential and nonessential business,” McDonald said Tuesday.
Museums, libraries, restaurants and retailers can open their doors for patrons limited to 25% occupancy. Tattoo parlors and hair and nail salons will remain closed at this time.
Those in quarantine with COVID-19 must remain in quarantine until they are told otherwise, McDonald said.
No new cases were reported in Matagorda County Tuesday leaving the county with 63 positive diagnoses of which 34 are active, 26 have recovered and three died.
Bay City Mayor Robert Nelson said officials don’t want the COVID-19 case counts to expand, but this is a chance for the community to get back on its feet.
“(The governor’s order) has given us an opportunity for our business owners to go back and open up their businesses,” Nelson said. “It doesn’t require you to do so.”