Coryell County COVID-19 cases climb to 9, county judge discourages nonessential travel outside county
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The number of COVID-19 cases in Coryell County has risen to nine as of Monday afternoon.
Case 7 is Copperas Cove woman in her 90s who is quarantined at her residence, case 8 is a male in his 80s in Copperas Cove, with case 9 being a female in her 20s who lives in the same residence as the 5th individual who tested positive.
On Saturday, Deputy Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Gary Young issued a press release, which gave a recap of the six cases confirmed at that time.
The sixth case involved a Copperas Cove resident in his 70s who is voluntarily quarantined at his home.
“The fourth case is an inmate at TDCJ who was transported to Baylor Scott & White Hospital yesterday by Coryell Healthcare EMS,” confirmed Coryell County Judge Roger Miller on Saturday morning, adding that the fifth case is a prison guard who lives north of Copperas Cove.
With cases involving the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, that agency releases its own numbers. As of Monday, TDCJ had 18 positive cases among inmates throughout the system, with four at Gatesville’s Murray Unit, and two at the Woodman State Jail, also in Gatesville.
Mask Use Urged in public
Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell encouraged people to stay home.
“Please put out message to stay at home if possible, wear a mask or face covering while in public,” Harrell said on Saturday. “But most important, be kind to one another, be patient, and verify information before you forward social media posts to people.”
The recommendation for all wear a mask or face covering in public comes from the Centers for Disease Control.
“We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms,” the CDC stated on its website.
“In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
County Judge: Coryell County residents should avoid travel outside the county
The Coryell County commissioners held a special meeting on Friday morning, during which County Judge Roger Miller stressed that residents avoid traveling unless for essential activities.
“I have harped on, and will continue to harp on, people in Coryell County staying in Coryell County, and people outside Coryell County staying outside Coryell County, specifically along the I-35 corridor,” said Miller.
Miller then gave numbers of counties from north to south along the corridor, from Hill County all the way to Comal County.
“When you look at the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard, the counties along the I-35 corridor is themost rapidly growing corridor in the state outside of the big 5.
“My concern continues to be urban creep into our county.”
Miller said it wasn’t the intent to shut down the county, but to begin addressing how to protect citizens “from the outside world.” He added that he has been in talks with County Attorney Brandon Belt on potential wording, and in talks with the City of Copperas Cove and Gatesville officials as well.
“This is not to infringe upon anyone’s personal or constitutional rights, but that when we exercise our rights, that we are not infringing on anyone else’s personal or constitutional rights.”
County Courthouse now with restricted public access
On Monday, Coryell County Judge Roger Miller issued a press release, stating that the Coryell County Courthouse have restricted access by the general public while the disaster declaration is in effect. Access will be granted to only individuals who have need to perform an essential function and have no alternative means to perform that function. For example, the commissioners discussed on Friday that background checks, unless it is related to law enforcement or another essential function, will not be performed, and those who are simply seeking records for genealogy research will be turned away.
As of press time Monday, there were a total of 7,276 confirmed positive cases in the state of Texas, with 140 fatalities. Nationwide, there are a total of 330,891 confirmed positive cases and 8,910 fatalities.
COVID-19 by county