As COVID-19 cases increase, mobile testing available

E-T Staff Report

As with most of the state and nation, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Erath County saw another increase.

As of Monday, Dec. 14, Erath County had an increase of 58 cases from last week, according to a report from the county emergency management office.

Of those cases, 25 are in Stephenville, nine in Dublin and 24 in the county.

The office also announced that COVID-19 community testing will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, at Cornerstone Assembly of God Church, 950 Glen Rose Highway in Stephenville.

There is no cost for the test and anyone can be tested. Individuals do not have to have any symptoms to be tested, according to a news release.

In order to be tested, all residents need to do is drive up to the site and register. Swab tests will be administered and not rapid tests. Those tested can expect to learn results in 48-72 hours, the release states.

For more information, individuals are asked to call (254) 965-1326. Officials are asking those seeking to be tested to not call the church, but rather this number, as the church is just allowing the use of their facilities for a mobile testing site.

Erath County has seen 2,009 total cases with 423 active. Of those, 1,561 are listed as recovered, and 25 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, the report states. That is an increase of three deaths since last week.

Of the total cases, 138 have been among those ages 0-12 years old; 305 cases among those 13-19 years old; and 525 cases among those 20-29 years old.

In the 30- to 39-year-old age group, there have been 244 cases; 531 in the 40-64 age group; and 258 in the 65 and older age group. For eight of the confirmed cases, the age of those affected is unknown.

Currently, there are 90 Erath County individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to the report. An increase of three over last week's report.

Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos last week issued a letter stating he had received notice from the Department of State Health and Human Services that Trauma Service Area E, which includes Erath County, has exceeded the 15% hospital capacity for at least seven consecutive days, a limit set by Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order GA-32.

As a result, all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums and libraries in Trauma Service Area E are required to return to maximum 50% occupancy levels. Included in the order is the closure of bars.

Across the state

As of Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting more than 140,000 probable cases, which can be detected through rapid-result antigen tests, in addition to previously reported confirmed cases detected through molecular tests.

Meanwhile, the number of patients hospitalized in Texas with COVID-19 is nearing July’s record highs, and the state is running low on ICU beds, according to reports from the Texas Tribune.

As of Monday, the state has reported 1,337,096 confirmed cases in 254 counties and 145,045 probable cases in 221 counties since the pandemic began, the Tribune reports.

Also on Monday, there were at least 9,304 hospitalized patients in Texas with confirmed coronavirus infections and 23,937 people who tested positive for the virus have died, according to Tribune reports.