Eighteen Wharton County residents had tested positive for COVID-19 as of press time, and five have been listed as recovered.

With the new reports, there are eight cases from the general El Campo area and eight from Wharton, one outside Wharton and another a Wharton man who has been in San Antonio for the duration.

“These new cases are people living with people previously diagnosed. It is not community  transmission,” Wharton County Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Kirkland said

No Wharton County resident has died of COVID-19 as of press time.

A metro Houston news report last weekend indicated a fatality that was in error.

“We are passing through everything we get (information wise),” Kirkland said. “Sometimes we get whether they are male or female or the age ... We’ve got to work on getting this out better.”

Statewide, 8,262 cases of COVID-19 had been reported as of press time with 154 deaths. Slightly more men than women are catching the virus in Texas with the top infection rates being with those ages 40 to 49 years old statewide.

All those diagnosed with COVID-19 in Wharton County have been sent home to recover.

They are reportedly under strict state orders to stay home and not put others at risk. 

Any violators could face reprisals.

However, Kirkland said, there have been a large number of rumors, false sightings and innuendo in the community.

A judge’s order can require those quarantined to stay put, he said, but added those making false reports can also face reprisals.

“If we have (a report of a quarantine violation) we’re going to look at the tapes (in a business),” Kirkland said, but added some of the reports may simply involve those who have recovered from the illness.

No one should take any chances.

“I’m telling my team they should be treating everybody right now as though they are possibly contagious,” El Campo Police Chief Terry Stanphill said. “We should be taking proper precautions at all times.

“Don’t lose the discipline just because the numbers in Wharton County are so low. They are probably low because we are doing a good job.”

With an estimated 42,000 people living in Wharton County, the current infection number is well less than one percent.

Only essential workers should be traveling from home daily and then only to hold down their jobs per the governor’s order.

All others should remain home unless going out to procure food (including restaurant takeout) and/or medical treatment.

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