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State virus numbers unreliable, masks now mandatory in Foard, Hardeman counties

The state coronavirus numbers apparently continue to not accurately portray the true number of cases in the area’s three counties. Hardeman County went under a mandatory mask order on Tuesday, Oct. 6 after Judge Ronald Ingram reported “our total number of active cases well above the 20 limit” on Tuesday. That mandate comes despite the state announcing in their tracker on Tuesday that Hardeman County has no active cases that they are aware of.

The state says that there have been 31 cases in Hardeman, and none are active, according to the Department of State Health Services. However, Quanah ISD has shut down operations this week and stated they had lab-confirmed positive cases as of Monday, October 5.

At least two infected individuals were reported at all three district campuses. Chillicothe ISD also reported active cases, and shut down school last Friday.

The state reported Tuesday that there have been 18 cases reported in Foard County, with two called active, as of Tuesday evening.

However, the Foard County Commissioners Court announced Friday that there were 24 patients and 6 staff with Covid in the Crowell nursing home. In addition they reported 8 more active cases in the county. Foard County is also now under a mandatory mask order the commissioners announced.

Wilbarger County had its third Covid-related fatality last week, according to unconfirmed reports. But, the state tracker still reports only two fatalities have occurred in the county.

Numbers released by the state on Tuesday show  just 10 active cases in Wilbarger. But the number also appears unreliable. Northside ISD reported on Monday that two teachers were positive.

Wilbarger General Hospital’s dedicated Covid wing had six patients on Monday, and five on Tuesday. Staff reported a concern with having enough staff to meet the rising number of critical cases. In addition there are several residents receiving care at other locations.

At the recent WGH board of directors meeting, staff told the directors that the dedicated Covid space would likely continue to be used for 12 more months, and there was a good bit of concern that the flu season coming up could result in patients ill will both viruses at the same time. Residents are urged to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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