REFUGIO COUNTY – Refugio County has been notified of its first positive case of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

"We have our first confirmed case and it is a male in his 50s in Refugio County, and it was community acquired," said Sheldon Wiginton, director of emergency management for Refugio County.

He said no other specific details were released in order to protect the patient's privacy — however, anyone who might have come into contact with the man will be notified so that they can take additional precautions, Wiginton said.

The positive test case was not conducted by the Refugio County Memorial Hospital District, which has done more than 40 tests. It was done at a medical facility outside the area, Wiginton said.A mobile testing unit led by military personnel visited the area last week, and while specifics from those tests have not yet been received, Wiginton said he has been assured that there have not been any positive cases confirmed from the 18 local residents tested via that format.

A press release from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services says anyone who has been in contact with the Refugio County COVID-19 patient will be alerted so that they can be isolated and monitored for symptoms.

"We are vigilant and reporting results for COVID-19 in the region," the DSHS press release stated. "We are also working together to educate and promote social distancing and staying at home."

Wiginton said people should continue to maintain social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others in public settings), limiting the amount of time spent outside one's home and continue to practice good hygiene.

"In order to share facts and not fear, we continue to emphasize the importance of prevention and there are simple steps everyone can take to help prevent the spread of the virus," the press release said.

Those steps include frequent hand washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, using a hand sanitizer that is 60 percent alcohol based, avoiding touching your eyes, ears, nose and miouth with unwashed hands, avoiding close contact with those who are sick, use of face covering (masks or bandanas) when out in public, and staying at home as much as possible in order to help curtail the spread of the virus.

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