Local officials announced on Saturday, April 4, that an Erath County employee who works at the county courthouse was tested positive for COVID-19, and on Monday County Judge Alfonso Campos responded to a few questions from the Empire-Tribune about that news, as well as the overall situation locally.

As of press time Tuesday, the official numbers for Erath County are: There have been 11 individuals who have tested positive, including one who died. Five of those were in rural areas of the county, while four were in Stephenville and two were in Dublin.

The latest COVID-19 positive test that was announced by Erath County officials on Monday, April 6, brought the total number of active cases to 10.

No cases have been designated as “officially recovered” at this point.

“Persons who have tested positive are in isolation AND are monitoring their symptoms. There are no COVID-19 patients being hospitalized at this time,” Campos stated.

When asked if he could provide the gender, age and current condition of the county courthhouse employee who tested positive, Campos responded, “Personal information is mostly unavailable under HIPPA laws.”

The original news release concerning the county employee who tested as positive, from April 4, states, “Co-workers are being notified of possible exposure. At this time, there are no other Courthouse employees that are out sick with the virus.

“The affected employee has been in quarantine since the onset of symptoms and has not been at the Courthouse since March 26, 2020. The employee provided customer service and may have had contact with customers or co-workers prior to last Thursday, March 26.

“If anyone has had close contact with the Courthouse Offices, they are asked to monitor their symptoms for the virus, and call the local COVID-19 tele-screening number at 254-965-6051 if any symptoms are present: Fever; cough; shortness of breath; or other respiratory symptoms. As a reminder, if you need medical attention, please call your doctor prior to going to a clinic or hospital.”

Campos stated on Monday that the other courthouse employees who are able to do their jobs remotely are doing so, with telephone calls with county business being forwarded to them.

The only Erath County death that has been attributed to the COVID-19 virus so far was a resident in his 80s, which was previously reported. The information on that case, released on March 31 by the Erath County Emergency Management Office, stated that the results of the test were “returned after the death. The resident had been self-quarantined at home since being tested. The victim was screened and tested during a recent doctor's visit. The resident died at home. How the resident was exposed to COVID is currently under investigation.”