No confirmed COVID-19 cases in Big Spring, Howard County

BIG SPRING, Tx (KOSA) -- Howard County is still reporting zero confirmed cases of COVID-19, despite Big Spring being a short trip from dozens of positive tests in Midland-Odessa, and being more than twice the size of places with multiple confirmed cases like Andrews and Crane.

“Between Scenic Mountain Medical Center and Shannon Clinic we’ve had 56 people tested,” Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason said. “Out of those 50 have come back negative. We’re still waiting on results on six more.”

The percentage of the population that’s been tested in Howard County is lower than what has been reported by Midland, Ector and Andrews counties.

Doctor Rohith Saravanan at Scenic Mountain Medical Center explained that to be tested at their hospital, you must have symptoms, including cough, sore throat, and a fever.

That is one reason Howard County's numbers aren’t higher.

Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman believes it’s also because locals have done a good job with social distancing.

“Many of our businesses immediately closed to the public and sequestered their employees to work,” Wiseman said. “Many of them also has some kind of a screening put in place.”

Big Spring has also tried to limit travel to and from places with confirmed cases

“That’s one reason we closed down the golf course,” Thomason said. “Our golf course was one of the last ones left open and so we were getting a lot of people from Midland-Odessa coming over to play golf. Unless you just absolutely have to go, it’s a matter of life and death, don’t go.”

Still both leaders want people to assume COVID-19 is already in Big Spring.

“Undoubtedly there are people that have COVID-19 that are self-quarantined at home,” Wiseman said. “I’m very thankful and grateful that people have done that.”