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No new COVID-19 cases ID’d in testing

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Bandera County emergency management officials were encouraged to find out that no new cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the county last week, and that includes 51 people who were tested for the virus at mobile labs in May.

The results of local testing on May 6 and May 14 had taken longer to get back than officials had hoped, but they learned on Friday, May 22, that none of the tests showed that any patients had contracted the virus.

When added to the 45 people who were tested in an initial mobile lab at Mansfield Park on April 28, that amounts to 96 people who had COVID-19 tests completed in the county without a sign of the virus.

Most of those who signed up to be tested had exhibited signs of the deadly virus, which includes a fever, a cough and shortness of breath, though health care workers and members of first responder agencies could get tested even if they showed no signs of infection.

Bandera County Emergency Management Coordinator Carey Reed said she was encouraged by the testing results, which allowed the COVID-19 count in Bandera County to stay at the same level it’s been for four weeks.

That count grew to six cases at its peak, but four of the people who contracted with the virus were shown to have recovered from the infection after weeks of quarantine and at times treatment.

The final two active cases in the county remain under review by state health officials and could be taken off the active list shortly, Reed said.

She knows of no other cases in the county that are viewed as suspect cases which could become positive once testing is completed. Comparing Bandera

Comparing Bandera County to other area counties in District 8 in the Department of State Health Services as of May 21, Real County had still reported no coronavirus cases, but Medina County had reported 64 cases since the outbreak struck, 42 of which were still active, Kendall County had 24 cases, 5 of which were still active and Kerr County had 11 cases, 1 of which remained active.

Bexar County and San Antonio remained a hotbed for the virus in the area, according to state numbers last week. A total of 2,278 cases had been confirmed there, 1,084 were still considered active and the virus had been considered the cause of 62 deaths there.

Statewide as of Monday, May 25, the state reported that 55,971 coronavirus cases confirmed and 22,662 active cases. The virus was believed to have caused 1,527 deaths.

That amounts to an increase of 7,278 cases in a week and 180 more deaths in Texas.

Still, the state was taking steps to ease restrictions that had been imposed to control the spread of the virus since March as gyms and exercise facilities were allowed to open at the beginning of last week and bars were given the green light to return to operation on Friday, May 22, though under occupancy limits.

Many Bandera bars opened their doors again and saw good crowds turn out to visit with friends and to take a break from the restrictions that have limited activities in recent months in the battle against coronavirus.

Museums and libraries once closed also are coming back to life as are youth sporting events and other outside activities like rodeos.

A series of rodeos is scheduled to start Friday, May 29, at Mansfield Park, and it has been cleared to accept 50 percent of the park’s occupancy rather than the 25 percent limit imposed in other counties because Bandera County has shown that it does not have more than five active COVID-19 cases as required by the state.