The County With No Coronavirus Cases? No Longer

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MENTONE, Texas — Zoom in on the glowing red map of ever-escalating coronavirus cases in the continental United States and for months you would find a county that had been spared. It remained that way until it was the only one, from coast to coast.Like a lone house standing after a tornado has leveled a town, Loving County, in the shadeless dun plains of oil-rich West Texas, had not recorded a single positive case of the coronavirus.It is something that people in the county were proud of. They talked about it. They lived by it.“You can take that off!” Chuck Flushe told a visitor in a face mask at the window of his food truck as a pair of barefaced oil field workers milled about. “We don’t have the virus here.”If only it were true.Though never included in the county’s official reports, at least one positive test for the coronavirus was recorded over the summer at a local health clinic in Mentone, the county’s only town, according to a worker at the clinic.And then on Tuesday, state officials reported, for the first time, the inevitable. Positive tests for the coronavirus in Loving …

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