Local officials met Mar. 9 for COVID-19 updates
County and city officials met Monday, Mar. 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. regarding the local approach to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.
Those in attendance included: Weimar Mayor Milton Koller; Texas Department of Emergency Management District Coordinator Ed Norman; Colorado County Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Rogers; Rice Hospital Administrator Jim Janek; Colorado County EMS Director Michael Furrh; Columbus Hospital Representatives Lana Wied RN and Prisca Soto RN; Eagle Lake Mayor Mary Parr; Colorado County Health Agent and EMS Medical Director Dr. Alyssa Molina; Rice Hospital RN Susan Hernandez and Colorado County Judge-Ty Prause.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and plan for possible scenarios that may arise with ongoing Corona Virus / COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, what protocols are in place if a patient presents at one of the two hospitals in the county, medical clinics or other medical facilities for treatment, first responders and EMS personnel coming into contact with someone who is symptomatic, and how to support the local medical facilities, doctors and personnel throughout this potential threat.
As of Monday, Mar. 16, CCOEM Coordinator Rogers said there are still no cases of COVID-19 in Colorado County.
“This meeting is a continuation of ongoing efforts we have been engaged in for the past few weeks, since the first report of the coronavirus in late January of this year. There have been daily telephone briefings from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Department and Dr. Alyssa Molina, Michael Furrh, Chuck Rogers and I (Ty Prause) have been in frequent and continuing communications since the inception of the coronavirus outbreak. We are following all the protocols suggested by the state and the federal governments and agencies and monitoring the status of the outbreak daily,” Colorado County Judge Ty Prause said.
Local officials and medical professionals continue to stress the importance of frequent hand washing and / or hand sanitizers, social distancing when in crowded areas, remaining home if someone has cold/flu related symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath) until a doctor determines the person displaying symptoms is cleared to go back to work or school, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing and promptly reporting symptoms or exposure to your local health-care providers.
“We will make it through this challenge and we must do our individual parts in this fight to help mitigate and contain the spread of the virus while our great medical community works diligently to develop treatments and a vaccine,” Prause continued. Governor hosted Mar. 12 call with Texas Legislators, Mayors, And County Judges to provide update On Coronavirus efforts
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott hosted a conference call with Texas legislators, mayors, and county judges to provide an update on the state’s ongoing efforts to combat coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor outlined Texas’ strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and ensure communities are prepared to respond to any confirmed cases in their areas.
Governor Abbott also reinforced the state’s commitment to collaborating with local jurisdictions to make certain they have the support, resources, and supplies needed to protect their communities. The Governor encouraged local jurisdictions to track and report any expenses associated with COVID-19 for potential reimbursement from the federal government. The Governor encouraged local jurisdictions to maintain consistent communication with state partners and to continue implementing proactive, vigilant strategies at the local level.
During the call, Commissioner Morath announced that starting tomorrow, the TEA will begin hosting daily calls with superintendents across the state to ensure relevant information on COVID-19 is communicated to school districts in a timely manner.
“The State of Texas continues to implement proactive strategies to respond to any and all new developments of COVID-19 and that includes collaborating with our local partners throughout Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Local jurisdictions are essential to our mission of protecting public health, and state agencies will continue to be in constant contact with local leaders to provide additional resources and the most up to date information. I am grateful for the responsiveness and cooperation of our mayors and county judges as we continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Together, we will continue to build on our response capabilities and implement proactive strategies that protect the health and safety of all Texans.”
Abbott declared a state of disaster for all counties in Texas Mar. 13
With more than 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 located in multiple Texas counties , Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for all counties in Texas Mar. 13.
Abbott held a press conference at the State Capitol to update the public on the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Texas and what the state is doing to protect public health. The Governor also announced several new actions Texas is taking to mitigate the spread of the virus, including declaring a State of Disaster in all Texas counties.
By declaring a State of Disaster, a number of actions are triggered by the Governor, including:
• Authorizing the use of all available and necessary state government resources to help manage this situation.
• Activating the state emergency management plan and the State Operations Center to enhance the state’s planning and response capabilities.
• Giving TDEM the ability to reassign & fully utilize appropriate personnel where they are needed most.
• Providing the immediate ability to move resources around the state, including resources obtained through the Strategic National Stockpile.
• Empowering the Office of the Texas Attorney General (OAG) to pursue cases of price-gouging and ensure that offenders are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
To protect the most vulnerable population, the Governor also directed state agencies to restrict visitations at certain facilities. This directive allows limited exceptions for situations like end-of-life visitations and requires all individuals to go through proper screening. Agencies will be re
Agencies will be restricting visitation at the following facilities: • Nursing homes • State-supported living centers • Hospitals • Daycare facilities • Prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities Governor Abbott is also directing state agencies to take any action necessary to facilitate telemedicine. In addition, he is directing state agencies to provide flexible work and tele-work policies to employees to give them the ability to care for their families, while ensuring the state government continues function at full capacity and provide all necessary services. Updates on testing capabilities were also announced during the press conference. Governor Abbott stated that Texas Public Health Labs now have the capacity to test over 270 people per day, with more private labs coming online every day. Additionally, the Cities of San Antonio and Houston announced the opening of drive-through testing facilities in Texas. This facility will serve first responders, healthcare workers, operators of critical infrastructure and key resources, and certain high-risk patients. Other major cities are working to implement drivethrough testing sites that will be run and managed at the local level.
Governor Abbott addressed the actions being taken by the Texas Education Agency to prepare a proper response within school districts. Texas is pursuing waivers for federal regulations for the school lunch program to give districts flexibility to provide students food should districts shut down due to the coronavirus.
The Governor also reminded the public that the state has asked health insurers and health maintenance organizations operating in Texas to waive costs associated with testing and telemedicine visits for the coronavirus. Additionally, the Texas Department of Insurance is requesting that insurers report their actions related to consumer cost-sharing and access to services so that the department can ensure consumers are aware of their available benefits.
Texans who suspect a case of price-gouging in connection to the potential coronavirus threat should file a consumer complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the OAG. Texans can also call the hotline at 1-800-621-0508.