Ellis County reports first case of COVID-19 coronavirus

A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as the 2019 novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the United States. Note the crown-like spikes on the outer edge of the virus, hence the term "coron (NIAID-RML)

Ellis County is reporting its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Health officials said they were notified of the case Tuesday night. The patient is a Maypearl woman in her 70s who recently went into the hospital to test for a stroke and met the criteria of COVID-19.

The woman and her family will be isolated in their home and monitored by DSHS. The state is currently in contact with any potential residents that might have come in contact with the patient.

The woman did not have any former travel history, meaning the virus was community spread within Ellis County.

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Ellis County recently issued a community gathering restriction order prohibiting both public and private community gatherings of more than 50 people and urged residents to refrain from non-essential community gatherings. The county’s order doesn’t include restaurants, grocery stores, retail establishments or essential services.

Coronavirus health tips

While COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus, daily precautions recommended to prevent respiratory illnesses are the same:

•  Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can't wash your hands.

•  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

•  Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve. Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.

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•  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

•  Stay home when you are sick and keep children home when they are sick.

•  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

•  Get a flu shot. (Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it is flu season.)