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County’s COVID-19 case count falls to zero

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Bandera County received more good news last week when state health officials released letters indicating that the last two patients with active cases of the coronavirus in the county had been successfully treated and removed from the active case list.

The Bandera County Emergency Management office said it received letters on Friday, May 29, and Wednesday, May 27, stating that the state had released the last two Bandera County patients who had contracted COVID-19, a unique form of the coronavirus, and that the active case count in the county had fallen to zero.

The count grew to six in Bandera County on April 25 but since then, all of the patients recovered successfully from the infection.

That includes one case that was confirmed in a resident at Bandera Nursing & Rehabilitation on April 16 who had contracted the virus from a caregiver with COVID-19 at the nursing center. The patient was isolated and treated and was removed from the active case list on May 27.

Bandera County Judge Richard Evans called the elimination of active cases in Bandera County “very good news.”

Bandera restaurants and other businesses have been authorized to allow up to half their occupancy limits inside their establishments since regulations governing commercial businesses were relaxed in April.

That was twice as many people as were allowed in most other areas across the state because the active caseload never exceeded the trigger point activating more stringent limits in Bandera County.

Despite the return of large crowds to Bandera City Park and Medina Lake County Park since parks were allowed to accept visitors again and big crowds showing up at several bars since they were allowed to reopen on May 22, the judge said the county has “to be doing something right, or we’d have more cases.”

Officials reported on May 22 that none of the 96 people who exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 when they were tested for the virus at three, free screening labs held at Mansfield Park since April 28 had been found to have contracted the virus.

And emergency officials were not aware of any other possible cases that were awaiting test results that could add to the case count in Bandera County.

Still, Evans and other emergency management officials hope residents continue to make good decisions about the steps they take to keep from being exposed to the virus – including washing their hands often, staying away from anyone who appears sick and keeping about six feet between themselves and others to make it more difficult for the virus to spread.

Evans said maintaining healthy conduct is the best way to stop the virus.

Gov. Gregg Abbott continued to relax regulations that had limited commercial activity last month when he allowed water parks, adult sports programs, food courts inside malls and driver education programs to return to business again late last month.

In the coming days, state district courts and county courts will begin taking docket calls in person on a limited basis with safeguards in place, like Plexiglass shields being erected in front of judges, court personnel and lawyers and masks being required of those appearing in court.

The COVID-19 caseload in Texas continued to grow last week.

The state reported 64,880 active cases as of Monday, June 1, up from 55,971 cases a week earlier, and 1,678 deaths associated with the virus, compared to 1,527 deaths a week earlier.

The active case count was down however to 19,864 cases this week from 22,662 cases last week.