Days ago, Jim Wells County was alerted that a woman who was a native of Orange Grove had tested positive for the coronavirus. A day later, county and city officials were than told by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services that the woman was living in Nueces County.
On Wednesday, the woman, between the ages of 20 and 25, was escorted by sheriff deputies and moved back to Orange Grove to her new residence, according to JWC Judge Juan Rodriguez.
Her move back into Orange Grove makes her the "official first case" in JWC, Judge Rodriguez said.
Officials with Nueces County, JWC and the City of Orange Grove all sought and received information on the facts from the regional health directors of Texas Department of State Health Service’s as well as legal counsel regarding what obligations and options were available under these unique circumstances, according to Judge Rodriguez.
Orange Grove city officials were against this decision, but were given no option but to comply.
According to Judge Rodriguez, they cannot restrict the woman from moving to Orange Grove and could only do so if the city had been placed on lockdown "meaning no one in or out of the city."
The woman will be quarantined at her new residence for 14 days and will be served with an order listing the consequences if she violates the order, Judge Rodriguez said.
Law enforcement will be monitoring that the woman complies with the orders.
Judge Rodriguez wants to emphasize to continue to follow all stay-at-home orders and CDC recommendations about hygiene, non essential traveling and social distancing especially since Texas Governor Greg Abbott has extended the social distancing order until April 30.
"We must operate under the premise that there are more cases out there with some individuals who may be asymptomatic," Rodriguez said.