No new positives in Llano County


Llano County continues to be coronavirus-free according to the latest testing reports.

Dr. Jack Franklin, the county’s health administrator, told county commissioners Monday that the county still has had three confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease, and that all three have recovered successfully.

The news comes after a massive event that ran more than 500 workers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities through the tests. All came back negative, Franklin reported.

County Judge Ron Cunningham reminded commissioners that Franklin spotted a discrepancy in mandated testing of nursing homes, pointing out that many nursing home workers are also associated with assisted living facilities. Testing only those in nursing homes would leave the assisted living staffs untested, Franklin said, so the county tested both communities.

Franklin said the job was done with help from volunteers from the county’s emergency medical service and from Baylor Scott & White health system staff. He said some retests had to be done because test kits leaked, but there were no negative results.

There are “a few stragglers,” people who were on vacation or otherwise not available to be tested, Franklin said. He said those tests should be finished soon.

“From a health standpoint, the number of statewide positive tests are going up and deaths are going down so that means we’re doing a good job,” he said.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Don Moss said he’d been seeing ads for outdoor events with no apparent limits on the number of attendees, though none of those was in Llano County, and wanted to know how that could happen.

“Governor (Greg Abbott) is releasing folks to do whatever they want to and no longer doing the social distancing thing,” Franklin responded. “Restrictions have become very lax in the past few weeks. We’re seeing fairly large social gatherings. I don’t know if they’re being vetted by anyone. I understand if you’re going to do something it needs to be approved by the (Texas) health department but that’s just my understanding.”

The county will get some help in its battle against the virus, however. Elections Administrator Cindy Ware said around $100,000 in grants were coming the county’s way, with only part of the money requiring matching funds. Those matching funds are already available, she said.

“We’re getting a lot more requests for mail-in ballots and spending a lot more time answering questions from people concerned about going to the polls,” Ware said. “Also, we’re doing more deep cleaning.”

The grant money is limited in spending to direct costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.