By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS –Despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced the start of Phase II on Monday, May 18.
Houston and Anderson Counties are no exceptions as both counties have seen an uptick in the number of confirmed cases over the last week.
The latest report received from Houston County Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Dickey on May 19 indicated there were 35 total cases in Houston County, with three recoveries for a total of 32 active cases in the county. On Tuesday, May 12, there were 29.
Dickey also provided a breakdown as to where the cases in Houston County were located. He reported there were 11 confirmed cases in the city of Crockett, with three more in the Crockett area.
The city of Grapeland had 15 confirmed cases, with four more in the Grapeland area. Dickey also reported there was one confirmed case in the Pennington area and one case in the Weldon area.
Moving to Anderson County, Michele Herbert, Palestine Police Department Community Liaison reported on May 18, “Judge Robert Johnston has received notification today of six new confirmed cases for a total of 60 positive cases in Anderson County. There are currently nine reported recovered cases, so we currently have 51 active cases in Anderson County.”
On Monday, May 11, there were 41 active cases in Anderson County.
In addition, on May 18 the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) reported of the 60 cases of COVID-19 in Anderson County, 46 were in the city of Palestine while six confirmed cases were in Elkhart. Both Montalba and Tennessee Colony have three confirmed cases while Frankston and Neches have both reported one case.
NET Health also reported gender and age breakdowns for the number of confirmed cases indicating there were 38 males and 22 females who had tested positive. Age wise, there were three cases reported for those between 0 and 20 years-of-age. There were 24 cases for those between 21 and 40 years-of-age. The 41-59 age group had 28 cases and the 60-79 age group had five confirmed cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have reported a wide range of symptoms from mild symptoms to severe illness. The CDC is stating that symptoms that may occur within two to fourteen days after exposure to COVID-19 now to include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. If you develop any of the following COVID-19 symptoms, please seek medical help immediately: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, or ability to arouse, or blueish lips or face.
Individuals who have traveled recently, been exposed to someone who has traveled recently, or been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, please call to speak with a clinician who will provide telephonic triage and make appropriate referrals in accordance with CDC guidelines. Additionally, you may visit www.coronavirus.gov and take a “Coronavirus Self-Checker” assessment. This will help you communicate symptoms to your doctor when you call their office before making a visit. If you do not have access to a primary care physician, please dial “211” and select option 6.
Please be sure to call before going to a medical provider, to prevent any potential spread.
Residents are reminded to take the same measures that are recommended to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses. Everyone in East Texas should remember to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing – Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home if you believe you have symptoms.
- Cover your cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow or into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects using cleaning items that contain bleach.
- Follow all recommendations from your local health officials.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.