Local Health Authority updates city council on COVID-19 cases
Jack County Local Health Authority Doctor Robert Cooper provided a COVID-19 update to the Jacksboro City Council during its meeting Monday, May 11.
Cooper said Jack County has had just four positive cases with the last positive case being identified three plus weeks ago.
“We have really seen a decrease in the amount of people presenting symptoms,” the doctor said. “That’s been nice, I think overall, other than a few isolated cities, we are tracking along with the state of Texas as far decrease (in cases.)”
He said in his discussions with the Texas Department of State Health and Human Services he is being informed that the county is in a lull and the county should be prepared for a possible second surge of cases.
“They really feel, that now that the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is caught up and a lot of the hospital capacity has caught up and they have learned more and more about it in America and the statistics in America, that we are prepared to take care of (a second wave,)” Cooper said.
He added the vast majority of the over 1,200 deaths in the state come from the vulnerable population of the elderly and immunosuppressed.
Cooper said the city is doing well on stocking up on PPE especially with the CDC allowing donated cloth masks to be used as PPE.
Jack County Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Hefner added that the state has limited it so all the PPE goes directly to the hospital with state agencies picking their PPE up there. He said the first responders will need to go the private industry to purchase PPE because the lack of supply for them.
Jack County Judge Keith Umphress told the council it would be prudent for there to be a joint effort to purchase PPE when quality and fair-priced options become available.
City Manager Mike Smith told the council that he has been following the costs related to COVID-19 including personnel and supply costs to send to FEMA for a possible 80% reimbursement.
“I think based off of what I can read and what I can determine and the Governor’s office might change this later,” Hefner explained. “I do not expect them to start releasing everything until around September time frame at the earliest. So, I think like the cities, like for us, would hold that 50% occupancy for businesses to stay open and do what they need to all the way through September.”
Umphress and Cooper said they have developed a good relationship with DSHS and believes there could be some flexibility at remaining at 50% occupancy even with a small increase in cases.
For the full story, see the Wednesday, May 20, edition of the Jacksboro Herald-Gazette.