Testing troubles

Cars queue in a line to get tested for the novel coronavirus at the Brazoria County Fairgrounds in Angleton. Local officials on site said they are testing upward of 100 people a day.

Brazoria County officials are in “continual education mode” as the county reached another record-high of 100 new COVID-19 cases and another death Tuesday, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said.

Sebesta and his office will not take any additional actions above continually reminding residents to maintain social distancing, use of masks and practice good hygiene, he said, though many cities have signed orders intended to prevent the spread.

“Many communities have already issued mask orders and I think that will cover a lot of our hot spots,” Sebesta said. “Folks just need to continue what we should have been practicing for the last three months.”

A Clute man in his 70s became the city’s second COVID-19-related death and the county’s 17th, according to county data.

Of the 1,833 reported cases of people with COVID-19 in the county, slightly less than 1 percent have died.

Sebesta credits the low hospitalizations and death toll to the younger skew of the county’s cases.

“It is a good thing we have a low percent of hospitalizations,” he said. “I believe it’s about 5.1 percent of our active cases. We have a younger population who is affected by this and they are staying out of the hospital.”

More than 70 percent of Brazoria County’s reported cases are in people younger than 50 years old, according to county data.

Pearland, accounting for more than 43 percent of the outbreak, had another 27 residents test positive for COVID-19.

Five Pearland men in their 40s, three in their 30s, two in their 50s and two more in their 60s reported positive for the virus. Pearland women included five in their 40s, three in their 30s, two in their 20s, two in their 50s and two in their 70s.

Lake Jackson continued its spike with its highest reported total of 19 cases in four women in their 20s, two women in their 50s, three men in their 30s, two men in their 40s and 50s each, a teenage girl and boy, women in their 40s and 60s and men in their 60s and 70s.

Alvin and Angleton had nine residents each to have tested positive. Alvin residents included two teenage girls, two women in their 60s, two men in their 40s, men in their 30s and 60s and a woman in her 30s.

In Angleton, men in their 20s, 40s, 50s and 60s tested positive. Female residents included two in their 40s, ones in their 20s and a 30s and a teenager.

Freeport had its highest daily case count since the pandemic began with seven new cases. Residents included two women in their 20s and 60s each, another woman and man in their 40s and a teenage boy.

Sweeny also reported the city’s highest total daily with five residents infected — two men in their 30s, two boys younger than 10 and a woman in her 30s.

Manvel also reported five cases in men in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s and a teenage boy. Clute added six residents, two girls younger than 10, a teenage girl and women in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

Other residents included Brazoria women in their 40s and 60s, a Brazoria man in his 40s, an Iowa Colony man in his 20s, a Jones Creek man in his 20s, a Liverpool man in his 40s, an Oyster Creek man in his 50s, an Oyster Creek woman in her 20s, a Surfside man in his 30s, a West Columbia woman in her 40s and Richwood women in their 30s, 40s and one older than 80.

None of the cases were nursing home or prison-related, Sebesta said.

The county announced Tuesday 46 residents recovered from the virus. All of the 100 new cases were confirmed positives, not probable. Probable cases are in symptomatic people who are linked to a confirmed case of COVID-19, usually by living in the same household.

Brazoria County has 833 cases that remain active, 39 probable and 944 recovered.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

PRISON CASES FALLING

Texas Department of Criminal Justice cases are no longer included in Brazoria County’s case count, but have steadily declined, according to TDCJ data.

In the Darrington, Scott, Terrell, Stringfellow and Ramsey units, 24 inmates have active cases, according to the data. There are 21 employees from those units with cases considered active, the data indicates.

Clemens has no inmates with active cases, but seven Clemens employees are considered active, the data indicates. Darrington is no longer on lockdown.

Jones Creek issues mask REQUIREMENT

The village became the latest community to enlist an order mandating businesses require employees and customers to wear masks through the end of the month.

Much like orders in other Brazoria County cities, anyone older than 10 should wear a mask whenever in public when it is difficult to socially distance, the order suggests.

Residents are also encouraged to avoid city facilities and conduct business online, mail or the overnight dropbox.

The village has had 12 reported cases of COVID-19 while nine remain active, according to county data.

The order went into effect 12:01 p.m. Tuesday and will last until 11:59 p.m. July 30.

The mayors of West Columbia and Sweeny issued orders encouraging mask use in public settings but did not require them.

Nick Irene is a reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0149.​

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