Posted by on Sep 3, 2020 in Uncategorized |

PRESS RELEASE: COVID-19

September 3, 2020

Somervell County, Texas now has a total of 175 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the number of residents currently in home isolation with active cases has dropped to 11.  This is the lowest number of active cases we have seen for atleast 2 months.  None of the patients are hospitalized at this time.  Using the guidelines from the State of Texas DSHS, we currently have 3 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.  This number has changed due to the data recorded on the death certificates, which have placed at least one death into different counties.  We have had 161 residents recover from this illness.

The most recent testing data from Glen Rose medical center shows a declining positive testing rate of 11.97% during the month of August.  This decline mirrors the statewide testing numbers, even though our percentage is lower than the state average.  GRMC has run 906 total PCR tests, and 867 antigen tests.  Some patients have been tested more than once for a variety of reasons, including repeated exposure to COVID-19 positive patients, possible recurrent exposures, or work related requirements.

We continue to have evidence of community and family spread in Somervell County.  Neighboring counties also have community, family and institutional spread that is ongoing. Overall activity of the virus in our county appears to be decreasing.  The risk level to all Somervell County residents is still substantial, however, this is, in a large part, due to our proximity to counties with a higher level of cases and community spread than what he are seeing here.  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.  So far, I have been very pleased with the very limited number of cases identified as having a potential impact on our students, teachers, and staff.  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.  It is still early, but at this time, there is no evidence of any infection resulting from an exposure through GRISD activities or campuses.

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.

The number of active cases has taken a very positive movement for Somervell County.  Hopefully this will continue.  I caution against becoming complacent due to this positive trend though.  When in groups larger than 6, especially in outside your household, wearing masks, and aggressive hand sanitation is still indicated.  Social distancing is still important. Please be safe.

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.

Thank you!

Steven Vacek, M.D.

Glen Rose HealthCare Inc.

Somervell County Local Health Authority

COVID 9-3-2020