meeting was held today with Mayor Bert Alvarez, County Judge Kenny Thompson, Emergency Manger Casey Moeller, City Administrator Janet Moeller, 911 Director Kara Briggs, Hospital Administrator Chris Strickland, Haskell County Medical Director Dr. Ruth Ebangit, and DCOH Executive Director Jimi Coplen.
There was discussion about the positives and negatives of a limited shelter in place. It was agreed that most people are doing a great job voluntarily sheltering in place, keeping distance, etc., as requested. A few groups have been contacted about not following the guidelines. As for now, Haskell will
not be doing a shelter in place
. However, everyone must still follow the executive order put out by Governor Abbott.
“I want to thank the citizens of Haskell for doing a great job sheltering in place. It is because of you all that Haskell doesn’t have any reported cases,” said Mayor Alvarez.
Hospital Administrator, Chris Strickland, reported they are only waiting on one test to come back. All other tests have come back negative, and Haskell does not have any reported cases. He also reported the hospital has plenty of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) right now.
It was also advised to let people know that one of the symptoms with this virus is the loss of smell and taste. This may be the only symptom some people have in the beginning.
Judith Bennet, Warden of the Rolling Plains Detention Center (RPDC), shared that no one at the facility has shown any signs of having the virus. All detainees/USMS are screened and temperature checked before transport takes custody of them from another facility. They are temperature checked before coming into the Haskell facility. Then, medical personnel temperature and medical screens them again. Once in housing, ICE requires temperatures be taken of their detainees daily. Safety precautions for inmates/detainees/USMS , the staff and the community are very important to the staff at RPDC.
Dr. Ebangit discussed the HIPAA standards and protocol for alerting the public. She said a primary care physician will notify the patient if their test is positive or negative. It is then the patient’s responsibility to notify those who they have been around. Family members and others who have been around the patient should quarantine themselves for 14 days. Once a fever has been gone for 24 hours, the person is out of the window of being contagious.
The hospital administrator’s protocol is to notify his board members, the County Judge and Mayor if there is a positive test in the community. He will not release names. He will issue a press release stating they have a positive case and what they are doing about it. They are doing daily updates on their Facebook page and website.
Governor Greg Abbot held a press conference today.
He extended his executive order until April 30, 2020, mirroring the President of the United States. You can read/watch that
Essentially, school will be closed until May 4th and only essential businesses will continue to work.