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COVID-19 Update: South Plains Health District Confirms Fourth Case

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
A fourth case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Gaines County, according to a press release from the South Plains Health District. The district confirms that, at present, the source of exposure remains unknown. An investigation is ongoing.  While Seminole hosted a mo

A fourth case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Gaines County, according to a press release from the South Plains Health District. The district confirms that, at present, the source of exposure remains unknown. An investigation is ongoing.

While Seminole hosted a mobile testing unit on Friday, May 8 for those showing possible symptoms of the virus, this case is not believed to be among the approximately 19 who were tested in that group.

The young patient, believed to be under the age of 20, was diagnosed on May 7 in Midland. It

is believed that the young victim was taking masking precautions. She is the fourth reported case of the virus in Gaines County. Two victims, reported in late March and early April, have fully recovered while an elderly woman over the age of 90 remains hospitalized.

According to a press release from the SPHD, "The District will continue monitoring individuals as indicated by the CDC. The District’s disease surveillance team will continue working diligently to ensure the public remains at a low risk of contracting COVID-19.

The South Plains Public Health District and our health care partners will continue to monitor COVID-19 in the Seminole area to prepare for the possibility of more local cases. Please continue to follow proper hygiene recommendations and social distancing practices."

Even as cities and counties across Texas remain cautiously optimistic about the state's efforts to re-open vital industries in the state's economy, testing for the COVID-19 virus has also ramped up across the state.

Based on recent precedent across the U.S., residents of Gaines County and elsewhere in West Texas should not be alarmed if the number of confirmed cases rises quickly with increased testing. A higher number of cases confirmed through testing usually is an indicator of a much lower mortality rate by percentages.

With local testing conducted by the state Department of Health and Human Services via the mobile unit on Friday, May 8, those test results are expected to be made available to the local office of the South Plains Health District, part of the Texas Health and Human Services system, later this week.

In surrounding counties, reported infections appear to be slowing. Since last week, Andrews County remains at 21 in reported cases, while Terry County remains at 12 and Dawson County at 30. Yoakam County stands at 2. Since last Friday, Ector County's reported cases have risen from 85 to 99, and neighboring Midland County from 91 to 101.

To date, 35 of Texas' 254 counties have shown no evidence of infection. A total of 525,697 tests have been administered statewide, with 39,869 confirmed cases. Approximately 21,713 patients have fully recovered, with 17,056 infections still active. The number of fatalities due to COVID-19 in the state has increased to 1,100.