Rural Texas Counties Taking Precautions to Keep Coronavirus Cases Low

Texans across the state are playing it safe from the coronavirus, even though there are dozens of counties with no positive tests. New data by Johns Hopkins University shows more than a third of all U.S. counties have yet to report a positive test. Those tend to be rural counties.

The less populated, rural counties in West Texas are taking precautions. Big Spring, a city with no COVID-19 cases, has closed public parks until the end of April. Their neighbors in Midland County has 13 reported cases.

“This is fundamentally true, that it’s in our community,” Dr. Larry Wilson, Chief Medical Officer at Midland Memorial Hospital, said during a ‘Midland Unified Command Team’ daily briefing in the Midland County Annex building Tuesday. “It’s out there, and if we are not careful about this, we could be in a situation like you’re seeing in Dallas or you are seeing in New York or you’re seeing in other parts of the country.”

Wilson said he's worried about the hospital’s medical team getting sick from treating patients with COVID-19. Experts studying the virus say uneven testing patterns in parts of the country make it difficult to tell whether remote areas like in West Texas are really better off than more densely populated counties.

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