While someone’s cousin might have told someone’s brother that there is an unreported, confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Brazoria County resident, it’s just not possible for that to be true, County Judge Matt Sebesta said.

“Anybody that does testing has to report to the health department,” Sebesta said. “So there shouldn’t be anybody slipping through the cracks like that.”

Most of the cases reported to the Brazoria County Health Department were tested outside of the county, Sebesta said. Reports are made to the health department where the patient lives, not where the test is conducted, he said.

In theory, another county’s resident could test positive at a Brazoria County hospital and that would not reflect in the Brazoria County Health Department’s numbers.

But the health department makes a great effort to make sure the numbers are correct. Recently, a Pearland case was reported to the Brazoria County Health Department, but it was actually a Harris County resident “on the other side of the creek,” Sebesta said.

“We kicked that back to make sure they got the right count,” he said.

FICTION: There are Brazoria County residents with confirmed, unreported cases of COVID-19.

FACT: All positive COVID-19 tests are reported to the health department of the county the patient lives in, no matter where they were tested.

No home testing

Clute police warned residents that no one will come to their doors doing free, at-home coronavirus tests. Freeport police warned residents that no one will sell them at-home tests, either.

“Please do not purchase any coronavirus ‘home test’ kits,” the Freeport Police Department said in a statement. “There have been no home test kits approved by the FDA and these kits are a scam.”

There haven’t been any reports of this scam in Freeport, Police Chief Ray Garivey said, but people unfortunately use disasters to their advantage in ways like this.

FICTION: You can purchase an at-home coronavirus test.

FACT: Testing is done at CDC-approved facilities, not at home.

Social media full of misinformation

In any kind of disaster, Sebesta said he tries to stay off of social media to “keep a clear head.” It can be a breeding ground for misinformation.

There are statements claiming that COVID-19 is a hoax or people are blowing it out of proportion, said Dr. Frank Okosun of Brazos Primary Care Associates. That is completely untrue, he said.

There is also no scientific evidence the virus is infecting any age group, blood type or any other demographic more than another, Okosun said. Everyone should take the same precautions to avoid getting the virus, he said.

“Prevention is always better than cure,” Okosun said in a statement.

FICTION: The novel coronavirus is a hoax the media is blowing out of proportion.

FACT: As of Wednesday afternoon, at least 63,744 people in the U.S. have tested positive for coronavirus and at least 897 patients with the virus have died, according to a New York Times database.

FICTION: The virus cannot affect young people.

FACT: Young people can be affected and can die from it as well, Okosun said. The disease is highly infectious and can affect everyone, he said.

FICTION: Some blood types and age groups are less susceptible to the virus.

FACT: There is no credible scientific evidence to suggest particular blood group types are immune to the virus or have better outcomes, Okosun said.

Maddy McCarty is assistant managing editor for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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