Gillespie now has second positive case of COVID-19
Gillespie County has its second case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, County Judge Mark Stroeher announced minutes ago.
The case is associated with travel outside of Texas, Stroeher said. The individual is experiencing mild symptoms and is isolating at home.
While there are no known public exposures with the individual, the Texas Department of State Health Services is supporting Gillespie County in identifying any close contacts of the patient while sick, so they can be isolated and monitored for symptoms and quickly tested, if needed.
Stroeher emphasized that this case resulted from travel outside Texas.
“We need to voluntarily restrict our travel for essential services and to maintain social distancing — minimum of six feet from others. Working together we can minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Also, earlier this morning, Kerr County reported its second positive case of COVID-19.
There are things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then wash your hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Minimizing exposure is especially important for people who are 65 or older or who have an underlying health condition like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer. People in those groups have a higher risk of developing severe disease if they do get COVID-19, and the safest thing for them during an outbreak will be to stay home as much as possible and minimize close contact with other people.
To get ready, they should talk to their doctor about getting additional prescription medications and have enough household items and groceries on hand to stay home as needed.
The city also issued information to help residents understand the notification process for a positive case for COVID-19.
If a person feels they may be sick with COVID-19, the city advises them to use the Coronavirus Self-Checker to see if he or she should be tested. It can be accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html. The person’s physician can also help make the decision.
Once tested at the local level, the test results are considered presumptive until the Texas Department of State Health Services confirms them. According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order issued on March 24, every public or private entity administering texts for COVID-19 must submit daily reports of all test results, both positive and negative, to DSHS, who will share the information with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When a test is confirmed by DSHS, a contact investigation takes place. This determines if the case is from travel or community spread, as well as identifies other individuals the person may have come in contact with since becoming infected.
When this investigation is complete, DSHS will notify the Emergency Management Coordinator or the county Judge to share necessary information. Once the EMC or judge is notified, DSHS will alert the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) of the confirmed case. When these notifications are complete, the case is added to the DSHS case count total. Several days can pass from initial testing to confirmation notification.
Gillespie County is part of DSHS Region 8. Other counties in the region include Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Calhoun, Comal, DeWitt, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Jackson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, LaSalle, Lavaca, Maverick, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Wilson and Zavala.
The public can find up-to-date coronavirus information at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.