County sees spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases

Staff Reports
Posted 6/16/20

The number of confirmed COVID-19 in Madison County has more than doubled since the beginning of June, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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County sees spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases


The number of confirmed COVID-19 in Madison County has more than doubled since the beginning of June, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

As of Monday afternoon, DSHS reports a total of 20 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Madison County, which had avoided a high volume of cases since the pandemic began. At the end of May, the county reported only eight confirmed cases.

However, Madison County Emergency Management Coordinator Shelly Butts the numbers reported on the DSHS COVID-19 dashboard do not correspond with the report the county received from the agency Monday.

Madison County authorities had previously confirmed 13 cases of the virus in the county on Thursday.

A North Zulch ISD employee had direct exposure to an individual who recently tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Alan Andrus announced in a notice posted to the District website.

“The staff member is currently self-quarantining at home, is not displaying any symptoms of the virus and has not tested positive,” said Andrus in the notice. “North Zulch ISD has been deeply sanitized and all facilities will be closed at this time. All District employees and students are instructed to continue to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations and to practice social distancing.”

The notice also stated the end of the 14-day incubation period for anyone possibly exposed on campus to the staff member is June 26.

According to Elementary Principal Janie Pope, the staff member tested negative for a rapid COVID-19 test, which deliver fast results but are not as accurate as the more in-depth tests. As of Tuesday morning, the administration was waiting for the official results of the in-depth test.

Statewide, there are now 89,108 confirmed cases of the virus, and a rising number of daily reported cases since the state allowed non-essential businesses to reopen their doors.

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott told Tyler television station KYTX television that there’s “no real need to ratchet back the opening of businesses in the state.”

One of the reasons, he said, is “because we have so many hospital beds available to anybody who gets ill.”

Madison County has been spared of any fatalities related to COVID-19, even while neighboring Walker County and Brazos County have seen 27 and 25 fatalities, respectively.

According to the Texas Tribune, Monday was the fourth consecutive day that Texas reported record highs in hospitalizations from the new coronavirus. DSHS reported that there are 2,326 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals — the highest number to date. Since Memorial Day, the state has also seen increases in the numbers of people testing positive for the virus.

The rise in cases and hospitalizations has caused Austin and Travis County to renew their stay-at-home orders. Reopened businesses there “are strongly encouraged” to operate their indoor spaces at 25% capacity or less and to provide services that promote physical distancing, like curbside pickup, according to Austin radio station KUT. But these orders can’t be enforced because Gov. Greg Abbott has allowed Texas restaurants to operate at 75% capacity and other businesses to operate at 50% capacity, the Tribune reported.