At least one of the 13 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazoria County is caused by community spread, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said, and it could be more — but investigators have too many cases to research the possible origins of each.
“This would not be our first community spread of the coronavirus, and many more are still under investigation.” Sebesta said. “From our medical operations center, they were coming in one after the other, and our epidemiologist just has not been able to reach out to each and every one of them yet.”
The influx is at least in part because there are still too many people going out and about, he said.
“You know, human beings by nature are very sociable animals, and it’s hard to change habits, but to slow down the spread of this disease, people have to change their habits,” Sebesta said. “It’s that simple, and people are not hard-pressed to do that.”
Friday’s announced cases included the first in Freeport — a 45- to 55-year-old man — providing further evidence hat the virus is spreading through the county, the Brazoria County Health Department announced.
Freeport City Manager Tim Kelty confirmed the city closed its beach as a measure to help stem the spread of the disease.
“We closed our beaches Thursday, following suit of beaches around the state,” Kelty said. “Given our current circumstances, I understand that it’s just counterproductive to provide a venue for people to come in from all over and potentially further spread this.”
A good segment of Brazoria County’s population is taking the threat of the potentially deadly virus very, very seriously, but a substantial percentage is not, Sebesta said.
“And that’s unfortunate for all of us,” Sebesta said.
Sebesta emphasized county leaders are taking the advice from top medical professionals, including the CDC and qualified pathologists, in pushing people to stay home, so people need to listen.
Brazoria County Director of Public Health Services Cathy Sbrusch was busy with an influx of ER patients Friday evening and could not comment, she said.
The CDC and other medical professionals urge people to engage in social distancing in order to be able to combat this disease faster, to not crush our healthcare system and to give doctors the time to treat this disease, Sebesta said.
“People need to understand that everyone is susceptible,” he said. “Maybe you could carry the coronavirus, not show symptoms, and then badly infect your parents, your children, your friends or neighbors.”
The problem remains people still need to go out to keep the world running, he said. For one, people need food, and they need medicine. The good news is, there are solutions, as long as people and businesses alike take the right steps to properly social distance, Sebesta said.
“One thing I was glad to see today and want to see more of is my local pharmacy’s simple but brilliant setup,” he said. “I needed to pick up a prescription and they had banquet tables with the prescription ready and the credit card machine on the table, simple as that.”
“The sooner we work together to get over this, the sooner we’ll get out of it.”
The number of Brazoria County cases jumped to 52 Friday after 13 new cases of coronavirus were announced by county officials.
Two of the newly confirmed causes resulted in the patient requiring hospitalization, a news release from the county states. They are a Clute woman in her 60s and a Rosharon woman between 45 and 55 years old.
The other confirmed cases announced Friday are a 35- to 45-year-old Pearland man, a 35- to 45-year-old Rosharon woman, a 30- to 40-year-old Pearland man, a 30- to 40-year-old Manvel man, a 25- to 35-year-old Lake Jackson woman, two 45- to 55-year-old Rosharon women, a 60- to 70-year-old Clute man and a 40 to 50-year-old Alvin man, according to the press release.
Of the 52 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the county, four have deemed to have made a full recovery.
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.