GILLESPIE COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The total number of COVID-19 cases in Gillespie County remains small, but the rural Hill Country county hit double digits on Wednesday.
According to the county website, a resident is now the 10th person to test positive in Gillespie County for the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The person is currently experiencing mild symptoms and isolating at home. The county said the case is associated with travel outside of the county, but within Texas.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is supporting the county in identifying any close contacts with the latest patient to test positive for COVID-19, so they can be isolated, monitored for symptoms, and quickly tested, if needed.
County Judge Mark Stroeher told KXAN out of the ten cases, five people have recovered. Three of the ten cases were just announced this past weekend, and all associated with a Fredericksburg nursing home.
“If we don’t continue to observe the guidelines and policies established by Governor Abbott, we may be setting ourselves up for dramatic increases in the number of cases locally,” said County Judge Mark Stroeher in a statement. “The best way to protect ourselves and our families is to follow these guidelines.”
Stroeher told KXAN just yesterday he was concerned about the spread of the virus in the county because he’s seeing very few people wearing masks and social distancing in downtown Fredericksburg, one of the busiest tourist destinations in the Hill Country.
Large pre-COVID-19 level crowds have started to return on the weekends, and Stroeher said it appears people think they’re in a safe area and safety protocols don’t apply.
Free COVID-19 testing in Fredericksburg
The county has announced free testing will be offered to its residents on Tuesday, June 23.
The Texas Military Department, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force and the Texas Department of State Health Services will be conducting a mobile COVID-19 screening event. The details include:
- Fredericksburg Elementary School, 1608 N. Adams Street
- 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Those wishing to be tested must register online, or by calling 512-883-2400.
A screening process will be in place and administered by DSHS personnel trained to gather information and assess symptoms which could suggest COVID-19. Anyone with the following primary symptoms will be eligible for testing without the need of a prescription from a medical professional:
- fever and/or chills
- dry or productive cough
- body aches/muscle or joint pain
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- nasal congestion
- loss of taste and/or smell
Healthcare providers do not need to be symptomatic to be tested, and the county is highly encouraging those who work at assisted living centers to come and get tested.
For additional information, contact Catherine Kuhlmann, Fredericksburg Fire EMS Infectious Disease Control Officer, at 830-992-9218.