Courthouse Annex

Nearly 150 Anderson County residents were tested for COVID-19 this month at two mobile sites at the Courthouse Annex in Palestine. Meanwhile, County Judge Robert Johnston on Wednesday cautioned residents the dangers of COVID-19 have not passed.

Nearly 150 Anderson County residents were tested for COVID-19 this month at two mobile sites at the Courthouse Annex in Palestine. Meanwhile, County Judge Robert Johnston on Wednesday cautioned residents the dangers of COVID-19 have not passed.

“People think this is over,” Johnston told the Herald-Press. “We're a long way from that.

“Some people don't appear to be worried this will affect them. We have not leveled off in Anderson County. Everyone, for the time being, should as a general practice treat this as though everyone they come in contact with has it.”

That means continuing to practice social distancing – staying at least six feet from others – when out in the public, Johnston said. Use common sense, he said: People don't need to wear masks while they're mowing the lawn, but should wear them in circumstances where they can't practice social distancing.

On Wednesday, Johnston reported 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Anderson County. Nearly 725 tests have been administered in the county, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services reported.

Johnston said he was pleased 99 people showed up May 3 for the first round of mobile testing in Anderson County by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. He was not pleased, however, that only 45 people showed last Sunday for the second round, after double testing lanes were set up at the Courthouse Annex.

The state is still processing test results, Johnston said. Those results will determine whether the state puts on another mobile test site in Anderson County.

Palestine resident Stacy Sweet, who was tested on May 3, said the process was “uncomfortable, but not painful.” Before getting tested, Sweet registered and pre-screened online, then was called for an appointment.

The test took about 10 minutes, and Sweet received her results 96 hours later. She was negative for the coronavirus. The drive-through test, by appointment only, was free, but pre-approval was necessary.

Testing included inserting a six-inch swab into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds and rotating the swab several times.

Swabbing is then repeated on the other side of the nose to make sure enough material is collected. The swab is then inserted into a container and sent to a lab for testing.

To be eligible, residents had to show one or more of the following symptoms: Fever or chills, cough, fatigue, body aches, muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, or loss of taste or smell.

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