The recent wave of COVID-19 cases in Hunt County continued unabated, with another 57 people reported coming down with the virus since the past weekend.
The Hunt County Commissioners Court has extended the county’s COVID-19 resolution, under which the county courthouse remains closed to the public, except by appointment. The previous resolution was extended until Tuesday’s regular meeting, at which time the commissioners voted to extend it again until Dec. 8.
“I’ve heard nothing but comments about the way we’re handling the courthouse right now,” said County Judge Bobby Stovall.
Two county employees, both of whom work at the courthouse, tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted the initial closure order.
Hunt County Health Department Director Richard Hill also cautioned that one of the tests used to detect the virus may not be reliable.
Hill noted one method is the Antibody (Serology) test, which is a blood test that can detect if a person has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID -19.
Hill said the FDA states the Antibody test does not detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus to diagnose COVID -19. The FDA states “these tests can return a negative test result even in infected patients (for example, if antibodies have not yet developed in response to the virus) or may generate false-positive results (for example, if antibodies to another coronavirus type are detected), so they should not be used to evaluate if you are currently infected or contagious (ability to infect other people).”
Hill said it is important to get the information out to the public since many persons have reported to his office that they were negative for COVID 19 after taking an Antibody (Serology) test, thereby giving them false confidence that they are not positive.
The office of Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall reported Tuesday morning that an initial investigation by the Hunt County Health Department determined 22 new positive COVID-19 test results, with 35 cases reported Saturday afternoon. The cases included 33 from the Greenville ZIP codes, seven from Caddo Mills, six from Celeste, five from Quinlan, four from Commerce, two from Wolfe City and one each from Campbell and Wills Point.
All of the patients were reported to be resting at home.
Hunt County was reported to have had 2,661 total cases Tuesday.
Hill is also reminding residents to take extra precautions this week to avoid catching COVID-19, and also the seasonal flu, by wearing masks in public, using extra hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer, and avoiding large crowds and close contact with others.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported there had been 35,640 COVID-19 tests conducted in Hunt County as of Tuesday and the county was reported to have a 7.4 percent positivity rating.