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The Big Bend Region's First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 is in Brewster County

Alpine was one of four stops in Far West Texas where Texas National Guard troops and a medical team tested residents for the coronavirus. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

By Public Radio Staff

For the past month, the Big Bend region has remained seemingly insulated from the coronavirus pandemic with no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

That was until Thursday afternoon.

"The case was identified through the Mobile Testing Team that was collecting patient swabs on April 25 and 26, 2020," Dr. Ekta Escovar said in a press release.

Escovar, Brewster County's health authority and the lead on the local COVID-19 task force, said the patient is in their 60s and resides in South Brewster County. They've been directed to self-quarantine.

At this time, the case is still under investigation, and it's currently unknown how the individual became infected, said Escovar. "We cannot release any further information as case contact investigation is underway."

Tri-county officials expect to have all results from the tests administered last week at the mobile units in the coming days.

Dr. Escovar urges residents to continue practice social distancing, avoiding gatherings, and to minimize contact with anyone outside of their household.

The announcement of the case comes on the heels of Governor Greg Abbott's plans to kickstart the Texas economy. The Big Bend region's restaurants, retail shops, movie theaters, museums and libraries are able to reopen at a 25% occupancy when statewide shelter-in-place orders expire tonight at 11:59 pm.

This is a developing story.