COVID-19 Update from Joint Operations Center 3-23-20

    At the time of this release, Bowie County has one confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Cass County has one confirmed case.

    A rumor has been circulating that there is a positive case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at the Bowie County Jail. This rumor is FALSE. 

    Local emergency operations managers are seeking out PPE (personal protective equipment). If there are any businesses or individuals that have PPE to donate, please reach out to the Emergency Operations Center at (903) 255-5560. 

    Governor Greg Abbott spoke at a virtual town hall yesterday evening and loosened up restrictions on hospitals to help with this pandemic. His executive orders ordered medical facilities to postpone all procedures and surgeries that are not necessary to increase the capacity of hospital rooms available, and urged hospitals to allow more than one patient per room. He did NOT order a shelter-in-place for Texas, but is leaving decisions about sheltering to each individual county/city. 

    Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson extended the closure of Arkansas schools until April 17th, 2020 and ordered bars and restaurants to close their dining rooms until further notice. 

    Locally, officials urge residents to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to get out. 

    In order to get ahead of the spread of COVID-19 in our community, leaders are urging families to stay at home and avoid traveling. Please do not get groups of children or neighbors together for back yard parties, sleepovers, or social gatherings. This time should not be treated as a vacation. Birthday parties should be rescheduled, and you should limit social interactions to as few immediate family members as possible. If everyone cooperates, this will be a temporary situation.

    According to Dr. Matt Young, the Local Health Authority, it is not recommended to seek out testing for the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) unless an individual cannot manage their symptoms at home with over-the-counter medications. 

    “We want to ask everyone to stay at home as much as possible, even if you are well,” Dr. Young said, “Follow the CDC guidelines. Only go outside for necessary travel. Our community has been very responsible, and we are now asking you to increase our responsibility to show others how Texarkana, USA and our Four States area can work together to decrease the spread of this virus.”

    Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell asks residents to be creative about how to continue patronizing businesses in safe and responsible ways. This is possible by ordering takeout, calling service providers on the phone, shopping local businesses online, and continuing to support their daily operations. 

    Dr. Matt Young advises individuals who may be feeling ill to treat symptoms with acetaminophen, and avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. 

    The EOC is collecting data regarding patients who have been tested, and persons under investigations. We are asking local healthcare facilities to call in and notify EOC personnel of each potential case at (903) 255-5562.

    If you or someone you know is feeling anxious or depressed during this time, please seek out help. You can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990. 

    Please help us spread the word that there have been telephone scammers preying on the elderly during this pandemic. As a reminder, do not give your personal information out over the phone for any reason. 

    Several local grocery stores and retail establishments have instituted policies to assist senior citizens with shopping and access to groceries they may need in a safe environment. Visit www.coronatxk.org for a list of these stores and their provisions. 

    Arkansas Act 376 of 1997 prohibits business from price gouging during a state of emergency. The law prohibits businesses from charging more than 10 percent above the pre-disaster price of goods or services. 

    §17.46(b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act provides that it is a false, misleading or deceptive act or practice to take advantage of a disaster declared by the Governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, or the President by:

    •    Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price;

    •    Demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity.

    A list of closures and cancellations, the latest information and updates, and daily updates can all be found at www.coronatxk.org.

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