Judge Ruben Becerra: If everyone was tested in Hays County, 50-70% of residents would test positive for COVID-19

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra is encouraging testing for residents. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra is encouraging testing for residents. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra is encouraging testing for residents. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

As testing numbers rise in Hays County, Judge Ruben Becerra told fellow Commissioner Court members on May 12 that if all Hays County residents were tested, a large number would test positive for coronavirus.

“As I said early on and I’ve continued to say, we have 50-70% of the population, that ultimately if everyone was tested, we would have ... test positive for COVID-19 and they would probably be asymptomatic or virtually no symptoms,” Becerra said. “And that would never, in my opinion, be a cause for alarm to watch those numbers go up, necessarily, specifically, exclusively.”

Becerra went on to explain that his concern is that 20% of that 50-70% is “more vulnerable than the average person. Pre-exisiting conditions and just susceptible because of, whatever, age."

“The whole goal is to test for awareness, to test for an understanding of what is going on with the population in our community, so that we can make the proper decisions in recommending and suggesting travel paths for opening, leaving the critical bed space in a hospital for those who actually need it.”

Becerra said he has been pushing to let residents know where testing is available countywide. While more testing is available along the I-35 corridor with more clinics and hospitals, Mother’s Day testing in Wimberley and Dripping Springs was conducted with the help of the National Guard. Nearly 100 tests were administered and results were pending May 12, according to Hays County Chief of Staff Alex Villaobos.


The numbers if every resident were tested, Becerra said, were not to cause alarm, but a call to continue testing, tracing and quarantining. He gave credit to Hays County residents, who followed the stay home and stay safe guidelines set by the state and local governments.

“We are all in this together,” Becerra said, saying he will continue to work with all levels of government to be unified. “Overall, I’m feeling very cautiously optimistic that we are being responsible with the direction provided to us by our government.”

As of 5 a.m. May 15, Hays County has tested 2,425 residents and has 219 confirmed cases of coronavirus. There have been three deaths and 144 have recovered.
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


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