Tests for COVID-19 are available in Cooke County and testing is underway at area medical facilities, Kristi Rigsby said on behalf of the Cooke County Pandemic Joint Information Center.
As of Wednesday afternoon, April 1, medical officials had conducted 95 tests for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, Rigsby said. An average of six to 10 people are tested per day, she said.
Of those tested, 26 returned negative results and another 69 were pending.
The total is not comprehensive, Rigsby said. About 98% of clinics that conducted tests had reported their totals.
So far, the majority of the COVID-19 testing conducted has been either in house at North Texas Medical Center or at the drive-thru location on NTMC property, said Rigsby, who is also the hospital’s spokeswoman.
She said tests have been ongoing at the drive-thru location since it was set up about a week ago.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no positive cases of COVID-19 had been reported among Cooke County residents. However, there have been two health care workers in Gainesville that reportedly tested positive for the disease. Those two people do not live in the county, officials said. The state’s reporting system goes by residence, not place of work.
As of press time Wednesday, there were 206,207 reported cases of COVID-19 nationwide and 4,542 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. In Texas, there were 4,080 reported cases and 64 deaths.
Area officials recently formed a joint information center to include representation from NTMC, the city of Gainesville, Cooke County and Muenster Memorial Hospital to respond to inquires about the COVID-19 pandemic. Rigsby is the JIC’s main point of contact and speaks on behalf of each of those entities, according to information provided to the Register.
COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. It first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe respiratory illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath and can appear two to 14 days after exposure.
Health officials urge everyone to follow social distancing guidelines of keeping at least six feet away from another person and washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to help curb the new coronavirus.
Follow the Gainesville Daily Register online for updates throughout the day as the situation surrounding the new coronavirus is developing.