Erath officials announced on Thursday that a 17th person has tested positive within the county for the COVID-19 virus.


Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos and local designated Public Health Authority Dr. Jeffery Moore released a statement, noting that the patient resides in rural Erath County.


“While it's not unexpected that our case totals may continue to increase, Erath County is still doing well overall,” Campos told the E-T Thursday. “We understand the virus is still out there, so we ask that everyone continue to take proper precautions that are effectively slowing the spread.”


The county’s news release states, “The patient has not been hospitalized and has been in isolation at home since onset of symptoms. Whether the case is travel related or community spread is under investigation at this time.”


The last positive case — the 16th within Erath County — was announced on May 21, involving a Stephenville resident. Thursday’s case brings the current number of active cases to two. Neither of those individuals are hospitalized, but are staying quarantined at home.


The 14th and 15th positive cases in Erath County were announced on May 4 and May 11, respectively. Prior to the May 4 announcement, it had been more than three weeks since the 13th case was discovered.


Erath County still has had one death attributed to COVID-19.


Thursday’s news release also states, “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. To this end they constantly monitor conference calls with State Health Officials, the TX Division of Emergency Management, and Governor Abbott's Office.


“We want to remind everyone to please call the Stephenville Medical & Surgical Clinic for COVID-19 Tele-Screening at 254-968-6051 if you have:


1. Fever, cough, shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms; and


2. Traveled within the past 30 days; or


3. Have known exposure to someone diagnosed with or currently being tested for COVID-19 (coronavirus).


Please remember: according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:


1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.


3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


4. Stay home when you are sick.


5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then wash your hands.


6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


For detailed information on the evolving COVID-19 situation please consult the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/COVID19.”