For the first time in several weeks, the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department received no positive COVID test results Friday.


But another COVID patient — a female in her 80s who was a nursing home resident — had died, bringing the total number of COVID deaths in Brown County to 21, the health department reported.


From July 27-July 31, there have been a total of 32 positives — 15 on July 27, 12 on July 28, three on July 29, three on July 30 and none on July 31.


Over the same time frame, the health department has received 245 negatives and 56 recoveries.


According to a City of Brownwood press release:


On July 31, 2020, the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department received 0 positive COVID-19 test results, 5 negatives, and 4 recoveries.


There are currently 76 active cases, of which 6 are hospitalized. The death includes a female in her 80s who was a resident in a nursing home. The total positive PCR tests for Brown County is 351.  The total positive antigen/antibody test are now 37.


The current totals for COVID-19 testing in Brown County are below:


3248    Tested


2890     Negative


351     Positive Cases (PCR Tests)


37     Positive Antigen/Antibody


7     Pending


254     Recovered


76     Active Cases


21     Deaths


PCR tests (included in total positive case count). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are a molecular diagnostic testing technique that detects the genetic material from the virus and can help diagnose an active COVID-19 infection. Testing samples are collected from the nasal cavity using swabs.


Antigen tests (separated and not reflected in total positive case count). These diagnostic tests quickly detect fragments of proteins found on or within the virus by testing samples collected from the nasal cavity using swabs. Antigen tests are very specific for the virus but are not as sensitive as molecular PCR tests.


This means that positive results from antigen tests are highly accurate, but there is a higher chance of false negatives, so negative results do not rule out infection. With this in mind, negative results from an antigen test may need to be confirmed with a PCR test prior to making treatment decisions or to prevent the possible spread of the virus due to a false negative.


The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department does not include Antigen testing in the total positive case count but does provide contact tracing and support services.Antibody tests (separated and not reflected  in total positive case count) Antibody tests look for the presence of antibodies, which are proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies are detected in the blood of people who are tested after infection; they show the body’s efforts to fight off a specific infection.