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County COVID-19 numbers inch up, not down

July 01, 2020 - 00:00
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  • County COVID-19 numbers inch up, not down

The confirmed positive coronavirus case count for Colorado County continues to inch upward.

Three new cases were reported June 29. Also on Monday, DSHS reported that if the positive cases at Pine Cove Summer Camp in the county were not recovering or present in Colorado County, then they were not part of the county’s case count.

While that reflected a glimmer of good news briefly, county officials said that with increased testing the county will still see additional cases.

“ I think there are multiple things working together that are driving the increase in cases,” County Health Authority Dr. Alyssa Molina said.

“ We have to look at where these cases come from--most adults in our area who have gotten it seem to have been exposed at work. Most of our younger people have been exposed doing recreational activities (like tubing with friends) or at parties with friends or family. When I am running around town, I am seeing that most people aren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing. So I think we are seeing an increase in numbers because people are spending time close to each other, not wearing masks, and transmitting the virus. Remember, many people can have mild symptoms or none at all. Also, people can shed virus before they have symptoms.”

A recent coronavirus outbreak at Pine Cove Summer Camp near Columbus sickened anywhere from 40 - 80 campers and staffers.

The majority of those infected while at Pine Cove returned to their homes outside of the county to recooperate, however, approximately nine individuals chose to quarantine at the facility while they recover.

Susan Andreone, VP, Marketing and Communications for Pine Cove shared some details of the camp’s protocol for COVID-19 precautions.

“Should a camper or staff have a temp higher than 99.5, our protocol is to let them have a cool off period and re-scan them with an oral thermometer as campers many times have been playing outside or involved in athletics prior to getting their temperature taken. If that temp is normal after a cool down period, they are not considered to have a temperature. According to our Chief Medical Director, Dr. Scott Lawrence, that is usual and customary in the medical field. We also continue to scan temperatures every day the camper is on property,” Andreone said.

“Additionally, Pine Cove did communicate beyond what is required from the State’s protocol and, in full transparency via Email, with every Central Texas camper family, of those who are included on their child’s account, about details of COVID-19 at camp.”

Over 200 tested in Eagle Lake Sunday

Colorado County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Charles “Chuck” Rogers said the Sunday, June 28 testing at the Eagle Lake Community Center operated “like a well-oiled machine”, and 225 people were tested. “ A big thank you to the City of Eagle Lake for providing the facilities, ice, lunch for the troops, big fans, traffic control devices and security for the operations there. The testing event was a great success.”

Rogers said there were approximately 100 individuals pre-registered either through the website or phone registration, about 66 people were walk-ins and registered there on the spot and the remainder registered online or over the phone the day of the testing.

Long hold times on the phone and website difficulties posed some problems for those trying to get pre-registered, and the county thanks residents for their patience during the registrations.

Test results should be available in approximately three to five days.

County officials remind all who have tested and not received test results to self-quarantine until their results are received.

More local testing sites to come

The next scheduled testing event will be in Weimar July 11 at the former Weimar Medical Center, 400 Youens St.

There will also be another testing held at the Colorado County Fairgrounds, 1146 Crossroads Blvd. in Columbus July 18.

To register for testing, visit www.txcovidtest.org or call (512) 883 - 2400.

In addition to the upcoming testing sites in Colorado County, the following testing events will take place in neighboring counties:

Lavaca County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the City of Yoakum and De Witt County Emergency Management, City of Hallettsville, and the City of Shiner, will host walk-up COVID-19 testing events this week in partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Military Department.

Wednesday, July 1

Yoakum Community Center

105 Huck St, Yoakum, TX 77995

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 2

St. Cyril and Methodius Parish Hall

306 S Ave F, Shiner, TX 77984

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 2

Hallettsville Knights of Columbus Hall

321 US Hwy 77 South

Hallettsville, TX 77964

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

No appointment is necessary. The testing will be provided at no charge, and there will not be a need for a doctor’s order or prescription to be tested.