The COVID-19 pandemic that has been ravaging the globe for months has not shown any signs of slowing down in the United States.
Texas has been hit brutally hard by the virus this summer and that includes Val Verde County. The numbers confirm that.
Around 20 positive cases were reported right after the Memorial Day weekend and as of July 29, 2020, there have been 49 deaths and 1,396 confirmed positive cases according to Val Verde County.
The first case in the county was confirmed on March 26, 2020, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) data. During the first 10 weeks, there were approximately 19 positive cases reported. From early June through July 29 there have been more than 1,350 new cases. As of July 29, 2020, the county indicates a total of 692 recovered cases.
The percentage of the population in Val Verde County that has tested positive is currently at 2.42. Maverick County is at 2.36%.
To put into perspective, USAFacts, a site that reflects information about the American population via data, shows Harris County, Los Angeles County and Miami-Dade County at 1.38%, 1.76% and 3.97%, respectively. Los Angeles County and Miami-Dade County have the highest reported number of cases in the nation according to USAFacts.
The county’s positive cases match counties double its size said the San Angelo Standard-Times
The progression of positive cases for Val Verde County began slowly with 10 in mid-April and 14 by the end of May. But better accessibility to testing, the relaxing of health orders and the sheltering-in restlessness of the public ramped up the cases in June.
The strategy it seems is to keep your distance.
County Judge Lewis G. Owens Jr. stated in a July 10 video posted on the county Facebook page that permits would not be issued for outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people, He also urged people to practice social distancing and mask up. He said the plan is to isolate.
“I hate saying it like that but because businesses, everybody else, still needs to function, but the least amount of contact that we can have with each other right now the better off we’re all going to be,” Owens said in the video.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently stated the guideline for close contact may not be effective enough according to MSN.com. The CDC guideline of close contact — the basis for social distancing — is defined as being within six feet of a person for more than 15 minutes. The health organization is saying the duration of exposure isn’t as paramount as the circumstance, e.g., an unmasked person sneezing or coughing.
“Droplets from sneezes or coughs can transfer to objects and individuals 13 feet away, even without the benefit of wind,” MSN.com said.
Now that hand sanitizer and masks have become ubiquitous and almost cultural, is the next logical step temporary isolation for everyone? Local estimates place the COVID-19 death toll at 22 in Val Verde County. Perhaps a 100%-population quarantine for two weeks will soon be on the preventative agenda.