PRESS RELEASE: Coronavirus COVID-19
August 27, 2020
Somervell County, Texas now has a total of 166 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 24 of our residents currently have active infections. At the time of writing this, all other active cases are currently in home isolation and care. Using the guidelines from the State of Texas DSHS, we currently have 4 county residents who have died as a result of their COVID-19 infections. Our condolences and prayers go out to their families and friends. We also have had two known deaths of patients who either died with COVID-19, but from another cause, or died shortly after recovering from their COVID-19 infection. Again, our thought and prayers go out to their families and friends during these very trying times. All of these patients had significant medical problems and/or risk factors. We have had 138 residents recover from this illness.
Current testing numbers are unavailable at this time. We have been diligent to try and eliminate any duplicate tests or cases from our reported numbers. I will try to give an update on testing numbers when they become available, or certainly by next week.
We currently have continuing significant evidence of community and institutional spread in Somervell County, as well as in our neighboring counties. A large percentage of our community spread is between family members, however, recently the amount of community spread is decreasing. Overall activity of the virus in our county appears to be slowly decreasing. The risk level to all Somervell County residents is still substantial. Contact tracer activity is ongoing with all new positive results, and all results are being reported to the State of Texas per DSHS guidelines. Most contact tracing is performed by Texas Health Trace, and can be initiated online if patients wish.
COVID-19 will continue to impact our community. Now that we have gone back to school, I would like to remind people that social distancing, aggressive hand hygiene, and wearing masks in appropriate situations, are the best ways to protect themselves from getting the virus. These same recommendations help to protect others, especially in the event someone has become infected, and has yet to show any signs or symptoms of the disease. Data suggests that the 24 hours prior to the onset of the illness, is the most infectious point in the course of the illness.
As many have heard, a staff member at the school district has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. This staff member will be maintained on home isolation per GRISD/TEA protocols. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 among the students of GRISD at this time. Currently, there is no evidence of spread within our schools. I caution against assuming that we are “OK.” It is far too early to assume that we will not have any spread due to opening schools. I suspect that we will have some cases, so we should all work hard to limit the impact of those cases.
Please be mindful that we are all neighbors, respect the privacy of others and follow HIPAA guidelines. It is Glen Rose Medical Center’s policy not to release any demographic or patient information due to HIPAA law.
Want to know more?
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website and Texas 2-1-1 remain the best sources of information for Somervell residents regarding COVID-19 testing and self-protection measures. DSHS updates their county-by-county tracking map daily at https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/.
I would like to request that if you are ill, and think that illness might be COVID-19 due to your personal exposure history, please try to get tested. Having accurate numbers to help guide decision making in our county and school district is very important. If people are choosing to not be tested, it makes getting accurate numbers all that more difficult. If you have any concerns about your status, please call your primary provider to further discuss testing options.
I appreciate everyone’s continued time and efforts in fighting this disease, none of us are in this alone. Together we can keep our community strong, safe, and moving forward.
Steven Vacek, M.D.
Glen Rose HealthCare Inc.
Somervell County Local Health Authority