Stephens County COVID-19 update
County and city officials have traveled the community offering insight and preparedness for COVID-19. The effort is an attempt to educate citizens on the severity of the virus.
City Manager Andy McCuistion appeared at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, March 17 and offered guidance on the situation.
“The whole community, especially the county, school and city, have been involved for weeks regarding what we need to do in the community to keep citizens safe,” McCuistion said. “We listened as Dr. Massey gave us the recommendations a few weeks ago. He told us it was ‘similar to the flu, but much deadlier than the flu and it propagates faster’. With the flu, the medical community has more time to treat individuals, but with COVID-19, it is expanding faster.”
As of Tuesday, March 17, the Stephens Memorial Hospital has not confirmed any cases of COVID-19 or received any phone calls of individuals thinking they’ve come into contact with the virus.
“We have a limited number of tests available here at the hospital. The sample is collected and sent off to one of three labs that can test the sample,” SMH Practice Administrator Chris Curtis said. “The turnaround time is 3-4 days and tests are either sent to the Tarrant County Health Department or can be sent to Labcorp or Quest diagnostics. All three of those locations are in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.”
County Judge Michael Roach also provided an update during the Tuesday, March 17 Breckenridge ISD board meeting.
“The samples are sent to a lab in Forth Worth and if that test positive – and up until today, the government didn’t trust those results – they would send results to the CDC lab in Georgia where it is confirmed. This has to be done within 72 hours or that specimen isn’t valid.”
Officials are attempting to prevent community spread of the virus and looking to mitigate the spread to the vulnerable citizens of the community.
“The truth is anybody 60 or older will be affected. If you’re over 80, you have a 14.8% chance of the virus being fatal,” Judge Roach said. “Between 70 and 80, an 8.6% chance and 60-65, it’s a 3.8% chance of being fatal. We have a one-shot as a community to get this right.”
County and city officials will continue to monitor the situation surrounding the virus.
Effective Tuesday, March 24, Stephens County and the city of Breckenridge amended the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order for the community and included penalties for violations of the order. For the full text of the order, visit the Breckenridge American online and on Facebook @breckenridgeamerican.