State shows 45 COVID-19 cases in county, only two active

Local Lions Club members to distribute free face masks Tuesday at Kimbro

Staff Reports
Posted 7/7/20

Madison County has joined the ranks of counties with swiftly rising totals of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with state data Monday afternoon showing 45 confirmed cases, though with only two of those cases active.

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State shows 45 COVID-19 cases in county, only two active

Local Lions Club members to distribute free face masks Tuesday at Kimbro

Posted

Madison County has joined the ranks of counties with swiftly rising totals of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with state data Monday afternoon showing 45 confirmed cases, though with only two of those cases active.

At the Ferguson Unit near Midway, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice now reports there are eight prisoners and 10 employees wrestling with active cases of the virus. Last week, TDCJ reported five cases, all recovered, among prisoners in the unit, and four employee cases, with two active.

The sharp rise in case numbers may have to do more with reporting than with an actual rise, according to Madison County Emergency Management Coordinator Shelly Butts.

“Since we are seeing positive results just come across when they are already up to 10 days old, and we are still seeing pending results from over 11 days ago, we cannot depend on numbers alone to see the big picture,” Butts said in an e-mail Monday. “The increasing number of cases in our community is evident. We may have slowed the spread earlier this year, but COVID-19 is still here and is still a huge threat to many people's health.”

The numbers reported on the Texas Department of State Health Services online dashboard often don’t gibe with reports sent to county officials, either.

According to the DSHS, that's because the TDCJ counts cases a little differently.

"There is and will be a fluctuation in the county’s data and ours because of the way TDCJ accounts for their COVID-19 prisoners," said Lyndsey Rosales, a communications specialist for DSHS. "TDCJ’s cases move when a prisoner does, whereas DSHS does not move cases. For example, if an inmate is transferred to another prison in a different county or if that prisoner is released, TDCJ moves that case to the county where the person goes. DSHS keeps the case in the county in which the prisoner was located at the time of diagnosis."

The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Texas prompted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to issue an executive order Friday requiring the use of a face covering in any public place, but Madison County Judge Tony Leago quickly filed an Exemption Application for the county, which had fewer active cases than the 20 active case threshold established by the governor.

However, Walker and Brazos counties will fall under the order.

The Madisonville Lions Club will pass out complimentary face masks from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday with curbside pickup at the Truman Kimbro Center.

According to an e-mail from Lions Club President Krystal Carroll, the group has procured 1,600 masks to hand out.

On June 29, North Zulch ISD announced a staff member had been directly exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have deeply sanitized the campus and buildings,” said Superintendent Alan Andrus in a press release. “At this time, facilities will be closed until further notice, and all athletic workouts will be canceled until further notice. District employees and students are instructed to continue to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations and to practice social distancing.”

According to the press release, the district determined the end of the 14-day incubation period for anyone possibly exposed on campus to the staff member is July 13.

The district also announced via Facebook last week that they intend to begin on Aug. 12 while following all safety guidelines outlined by the latest executive order from Gov. Abbott. The Facebook post was accompanied by a survey for parents in order to help the district plan accordingly.

The survey included questions regarding students’ internet access and also how comfortable they would be sending their kids to school for in-person instruction.

Some reopening measures around the state continue. The Texas Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that it would reopen in-person services, including driver license renewals and replacements, on an appointment-only basis.

“Nearly 700,000 Texans had their DLs expire while offices were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — this closure has created a backlog of customers needing to renew their licenses,” the DPS said in a press release. “The expansion of in-person services, as well as the addition of Saturday appointments specifically for renewal and replacement transactions, are both designed to help alleviate this backlog and provide Texans with the services they need most.”

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