Erath County officials have now confirmed five positive cases in Erath County with one death.


The E-T contacted the city’s health authority Dr. Kelly Doggett on Monday morning and confirmed the number of positive cases in the county.


"We have five positive cases now," Doggett said. "We have a confirmed death; we have two that are under investigation for community spread and one of them is likely community spread. It’s getting out there."


Under HIPAA laws, Doggett told the E-T he could not disclose the age or sex of the individual who died.


Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos and Dr. Jeffery Morre, local public health authority, reported the death of a local resident who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday night.


The results were returned after the death. The victim had been screened and tested during a recent doctor’s visit and had been self-quarantined at home since being tested.


How the resident was exposed to COVID is currently under investigation.


This was the fourth case of COVID-19, but the first death reported in Erath County.


At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Campos and Moore sent out a press release confirming positive test results on a fifth case in Erath County.


The patient resides in rural Erath County and had been quarantined at home since being tested. Whether the case is travel-related, or community spread is under investigation at this time.


Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos stressed that Erath County, Stephenville and Dublin all have a Shelter in Place Order in effect at this time.


"As we get more positive cases, it becomes even more important for residents to stay at home, go out only for bare necessities and practice social distancing at all times," Campos wrote in the press release.


Erath County Emergency Management Coordinator Susan Driskill, along with her counterparts from Stephenville, Dublin and Tarleton State University continue to assess the situation in Erath County minute-by-minute.


"The main concern of the emergency managers, local officials and the local health authorities is for the public health and safety of our residents," Campos wrote. "To this end they constantly monitor conference calls with state health officials, the TX Division of Emergency Management and Gov. Abbott's office."


Doggett told the E-T that President Donald Trump may recommend for individuals to wear masks at any time when they go outside.


"Studies have shown in other countries that masks don’t necessarily protect you from getting COVID but people that are asymptomatic and are walking around on the streets that don't know they have it, it keeps them from spreading droplets when they cough or sneeze," Doggett said. "It doesn’t have to be a m-95 mask; it can be a surgical mask, or it can be a bandana. Some of the other countries that have got a handle on this, they made all their people wear masks, so that may be coming; that may be a national directive."


The first COVID-19 case in the County was confirmed on March 23. The following two cases were confirmed on March 28 and March 29. All individuals are self-quarantining at their homes.