CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Residents looking for their daily update on the number of COVID-19 cases in Brazoria County should get it by noon today, officials say.

Although all positive cases are reported, including “a couple” Sunday, they must be confirmed before being released to the public, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said.

“It’s Sunday so we’re not getting as much flow of information from the testing labs,” Sebesta said. “I’m looking for there to be more in the morning so we’ll have an update hopefully by noon Monday.”

Although healthcare workers do not take Sundays off, information is often slower on the weekend, he said.

“Most days people can expect an update but it’s just a slow day,” Sebesta said. “We’ve had a couple come in today.”

For every new case, the county calls the person to confirm age, location and status.

“Our epidemiologists always call the patient. We try to find out if they’re at home or in the hospital,” Sebesta said. “We make sure they know to home-isolate. We always make contact before releasing the information.”

The test can come back in a varied amount of time, which depends on the facility the person goes to, Sebesta said. While officials in some areas of the state have said it can take more than a week to get results, that hasn’t been the case in Brazoria County, he said.

“My understanding is the test results are coming back quicker than 10 days,” Sebesta said. “The individual that I personally know was tested and has results in 48 hours.”

With the variety of testing locations, there is no way to know the true speed of getting results, he said.

“I do not know the turnaround rate for the county as a whole because people are getting tested at different places,” Sebesta said. “They’re getting tested in hospitals, at their physicians, an emergency testing center or a private laboratory.”

Sebesta is only alerted to positive cases, not the total number of people who were tested.

“The only time we are informed is if someone tests positive, I don’t know the sum of all the centers,” he said. “If 100 people go to a private lab and only five test positive, we’re only told about the five.”

In addition to the Stay Safe at Home order, the county has closed all beaches to vehicular traffic, which went into effect Saturday.

“From my understanding beach attendance was down today,” Sebesta said. “There are officers patrolling the beach.”

As of Sunday there are no updates to recovered cases or new hospitalizations.

Addison Howell is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0148.

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