The first case of coronavirus in Erath County was confirmed when test results were returned on Sunday, March 22, Dr. Kelly Doggett told the Empire-Tribune Monday morning.


A man in the 50-60-year-old age group who is an Erath County resident received confirmation of a positive test for the COVID-19 virus over the weekend according to Dr. Doggett, who is the local health authority for the city of Stephenville. The man’s specific age was not released, and other information is also not officially available because of federal privacy laws under HIPPA.


Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos said that it is his understanding that the patient was tested last Thursday and notified on Sunday. Campos added that the patient had been self-quarantined and that officials are contacting people who had been in contact with him to determine if they need to be in quarantine as well. More information will be released when it is available.


“It was inevitable,” Campos told the E-T. “It is affecting a lot of areas. People are mobile. People get around. We just need to be mindful of what needs to be done. We’ll get through this together. Be calm, and practice all of the precautions.”


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, “if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such was cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.”


The CDC also recommends to people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 to recover at home. “Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.”


Also, the CDC says to stay in touch with your doctor. “Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.”


The safe practice of social distancing should be done if you are sick, with the CDC website stating, “As much as possible, you should stay in a specific ‘sick room’ and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.”


The CDC also states, “You should wear a face mask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.”