The latest Covid-19 numbers in Wilbarger County showed a steady increase from last week – and a huge surge of infections at the Vernon campus of North Texas State Hospital. Patients at NTSH are reported in their home counties’ coronavirus numbers, and do not reflect in local data. As of Tuesday, there are 44 active cases among patients at NTSH-Vernon, with three recovered. That means approximately one out of every five patients at the facility has the virus, or has had it. One week ago, on Monday, Sept. 14, NTSH-Vernon reported three positive cases. On Tuesday it was 4 positive, then 18 positive on Wednesday, and 42 positive on Monday, Sept. 21.
In addition, there are 12 active staff cases at NTSH-Vernon according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. It was 2 last Monday, four on Tuesday, six on Wednesday and then nine on Friday. The next highest case count at a facility in the state is two patients and 11 staff at Big Spring. Big Spring has 74 recovered patient cases, and 3 deaths. NTSH Vernon has no deaths.
The staff numbers of NTSH cases are apparently not being reported to the Texas coronavirus dashboard. On Tuesday, the state reported there are only 7 active cases out of 137 total positive cases in Wilbarger County. There were no active cases in Foard County and one in Hardeman.
The Vernon Independent School District reports that they have had seven students and one staff member test positive with Covid-19, since the beginning of school in August. This week the Texas Education Agency in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services begin releasing coronavirus data for each school district in the state. The Vernon Record will post updated numbers for each district in the area, as the numbers become available on the Vernon Record website. TEA previously directed all school districts to submit information about COVID-19 cases going back to the start of the school year. Information is submitted via an online form each Monday by those school systems that were notified in the previous week that a student, teacher, or staff member who participates in any on-campus activity has tested positive for a current COVID-19 infection. Antibody tests, which indicate a previous infection, are not required to be reported.