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Llano and Blanco counties joined the growing list of Texas counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The two cases are travel-related, according to officials.

The Llano County Office of Emergency Management issued a news release March 24 confirming a male patient in his 60s had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Llano County Health Authority Dr. Jack Franklin notified County Judge Ron Cunningham and Horseshoe Bay Mayor Cynthia Clinesmith at about 10 a.m. the same day regarding the diagnosis.

“The fact that Llano County has a confirmed case in our county should come as no surprise to anyone,” Cunningham stated in the release. “We are grateful for this resident to act responsibly and are grateful for the healthcare professionals who treated and diagnosed this situation.”

The man who tested positive for COVID-19 lives in the Horseshoe Bay area. He self-quarantined immediately after returning from a trip and remains in quarantine at this time.

On March 23, the Blanco County Office of Emergency Management reported the county’s first confirmed COVID-19 case.

The patient is a woman in her 60s. According to a news release from the county, she tested positive March 21 after a drive-through COVID-19 test. Blanco County authorities said “she is recovering at home under self-quarantine.”

Dr. Franklin reported to Llano County officials that he knew of at least 17 tests conducted by Llano County providers. Of those, 12 have come back negative and three are pending as of March 24.

Two came back positive, according to Franklin, one being the Burnet County resident reported on March 22 and the other being the Horseshoe Bay-area man.

“At this time, there are over 400 confirmed cases in Texas and nine confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 and it is imperative our residents follow (Department of State Health Services) and (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines in restricting travel unless absolutely necessary and taking proper precautions to contain and mitigate COVID-19,” Franklin stated in the Llano County news release.

Steps people can take to help slow the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Wash your hands often. Wash frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw away the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Maintain social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet away from other people. Do not participate in social gatherings.
  • Limit trips into the public to essential outings only.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • People who are ill should isolate themselves from others and remain at home until they recover. If symptoms worsen, call your health care provider for guidance. If you have an emergency, explain your symptoms to the 9-1-1 operator so you can receive the appropriate care needed.

For additional information on COVID-19 precautions, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services and CDC websites. For additional information on Llano County’s preparations and response, visit the county’s website.

For more coronavirus-related news in the Highland Lakes, visit the COVID-19 resources webpage.