An East Bernard family’s illness along with one unknown infection boosted Wharton County’s positive COVID-19 cases to 50 over the Memorial Day weekend.

While six new cases mark a significant increase in cases locally, the good news is more have recovered, Wharton County Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Kirkland said Tuesday.

“That’s a pretty good sized numbers increase, but four (who are now listed as recovered) are in one family. They visited someone who had it,” he said. “Out of the six new cases, there’s only one I don’t know how they got it. She’s a woman in her 80s with pneumonia.”

Of the last two major testing groups, 106 people in Wharton on May 7 and 67 people in Wharton on May 9, no one tested positive for COVID-19.

There are still a lot of test kits pending, however, Kirkland said. “Last week, the (national) guard was in all the nursing homes doing tests. I don’t know the results yet.”

Of the 50 total cases as of press time, 38 have been listed as recovered from the virus.

Overall, about 2 percent of Wharton County’s population has been tested for COVID-19 since the time the pandemic was declared.

Statewide, the labs processing the test kits are becoming inundated. “In April, they were processing 10,000 to 12,000 kits per day. On May 9th, it was 25,000 per day. The sites are overwhelmed and the clerks trying to keep up with it are overwhelmed”

There have been no COVID-19 fatalities in Wharton County as of presstime.

State and local officials urge the general public to continue to social distance and use masks in public as more retail opens and restrictions on store and restaurant capacity loosens.

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