Hospital requests mask order; 11 recovered, 12 active here
Gillespie County has seen its number of COVID-19 cases more than triple in the past week.
On Tuesday, the county reported its 18th case of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That individual is isolating at home and likely contracted the disease through household spread.
Cases 16 and 17 were confirmed Monday and were also transmitted through family spread. Case 15 was reported on Friday and is considered community spread.
HCM seeks mask order
Last week, officials from Hill Country Memorial urged city and county officials to implement face covering requirements.
“For the safety and well-being of our community members, business owners, employees and visitors, please enact measures that require all commercial entities that provide direct goods or services to the public to ensure all employees and customers wear a mask or face covering if unable to social distance,” the HCM spokesman said.
As a tourist destination, Fredericksburg has seen an increased number of visitors in the last few weeks.
“The health and safety of all those we serve is our top priority,” a spokesman said. “By implementing face mask protocols, we can help protect the community. We also recognize that if we are not proactive with these precautions, we run the risk of marring our community’s positive reputation.”
Neither city nor county officials have acted on the request.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke to the press on Monday, noting the increased number of virus cases across the state. He stopped short of instituting an order to wear masks.
House Speaker Dennis Bonnen emphasized the importance of wearing facial coverings.
“It’s time to mask up. It’s time to employ personal responsibility — a key tenet of ensuring liberty and freedom. It’s time to stand up to the mask naysayers who speak loudly but act irresponsibly as they destroy the liberty and freedom, we ALL deserve,” Bonnen said.
The Texas Education Agency was expected to make an announcement Tuesday on how schools should operate in the fall.
Preventing the spread
Gillespie County Judge Mark Stroeher urges the community members to self-monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, wear masks or other face coverings and stay home if sick.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
• Avoid close contact with those who are sick;
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then wash hands;
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
The Texas Military Department conducted its third mobile testing unit on Tuesday in Fredericksburg.
As of press time, 131 tests had been completed and another 30-plus were expected to be done by end of day.
Those wishing to be tested at a mobile testing site must register online at txcovidtest.org or by calling 512-883-2400.
A screening process will be in place and administered by state health department personnel trained to gather information and assess symptoms which could suggest that a person should be tested for COVID-19.
Anyone with the primary symptoms of COVID-19, including fever or chills, dry or productive cough, fatigue, body aches, muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, or loss of taste and/or smell, are encouraged to be tested.
Those being tested will remain in their vehicle and be administered the test without leaving their automobile.
Once results are available, patients will receive a text message with a link to a portal with results and information.
Those that test positive will also be contacted by their local health department.
For more information, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavir