County Judge Randy Hoyer issued a statement Tuesday, in conjunction with a recent announcement from Dr. Georgia Hay -- the county's local health authority -- to reiterate the importance of following precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The officials issued their warnings amid confirmation of new COVID-19 cases in the county.
COUNTY JUDGE'S STATEMENT
To date, Lampasas County has had 22 total cases of COVID-19. Of those, 12 have recovered and 10 are still considered active. Two are currently hospitalized. Lampasas County residents need to be mindful that COVID-19 is still here and precautions should be taken to prevent the spread of the virus. We are still months away from a vaccine and must understand that until we have a vaccine, the virus will continue to spread. Individuals who contract the virus can become ill and for those most susceptible, serious illness could occur and those most vulnerable could even die.
I encourage you to read the attached letter from Dr. Georgia Hay, the Lampasas County Local Health Authority. As she states, individuals can reduce the chance on getting COVID-19 by social distancing, washing hands frequently and wearing a protective face cover when in public places. Individuals who are at the greatest risk of complications and/or even death are those over the age of 60 with underlying health conditions. These individuals should take extra precautions and avoid public gatherings totally. We should not compare COVID-19 with the flu. This is different, it is more contagious and the effect can be significantly more serious.
Here lately, I have been asked about the upcoming Spring Ho Festival and other large public events scheduled. Is it safe or not? I cannot answer that question for you. You must make that decision individually. By this time, every resident in Lampasas County, the State of Texas and even in the United States is fully aware COVID-19. We all know and understand the dangers and risks. As I have stated, as well as Dr. Hay, individuals will have to decide if they want to increase their exposure to the possibility of contacting COVID-19 at large public events and if so, what precautions do they want to take.
One of the more tracked data indicators to the severity of cases in Lampasas County and the State, is hospitalization of COVID-19 patients. At this time, we have ample beds available at hospitals. If and when available beds become a concern, additional orders may be issued to address this. Hopefully this will not happen. In closing, I encourage Lampasas County citizens to be vigilant and continue following the guidelines by the CDC.
Randy Hoyer, Lampasas County Judge
LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY'S STATEMENT
June 20, 2020
Dear Fellow Citizens of Lampasas County,
This is Dr. Georgia Hay, your Local Health Authority, writing to give an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in our county. This has been a busy week for us and surrounding areas, which has prompted many questions that I’d like to try and answer today. I typically do give updates regularly to the Radiogram and the Lampasas Dispatch Record. I also believe the radio station will have me back to give an update Friday morning July 3rd at 8 AM. Our county saw 10 new reported cases this week, 8 of which are active (still sick) and 1 of those is hospitalized in critical condition (as of yesterday). We have 12 recovered cases which for our county means I have contacted them and based on time and resolution of symptoms they are no longer contagious. Very few have gone back for repeat tests due to lack of availability, which is rapidly improving every day. The other reason for not going that route is many people will still have dead virus in the nose which can’t get others sick but will still show up on the test. So even though they are over it, they will still potentially test positive. So as added precautions, I typically encourage wearing a face mask. We should all be doing that any time we cannot stay further than 6 feet away or are in any tight enclosed space. Wearing the masks will help reduce the spread in our community. It may not be pleasant or fashionable or popular, but we can adapt to the mild discomforts and help others by wearing one. It’s not to protect you, it’s to protect others from you in case you are shedding live virus with minimal symptoms (which happens a lot) or none but are going to get sick in the next 48 hours (which means you are already contagious). If we are wearing masks, groups are small, and there is not prolonged time exposed then we can reduce the chance of exposure, which may make the difference in being asked to quarantine or just wear a mask and monitor for symptoms.
I also wanted to address the information we release regarding the positive cases. I work with officials at the Department of State Health Services via Region 7 in Temple which helps these rural counties that don’t have our own health department. They advise me on what information is safe to give out to help protect the identity of those affected. We need people to talk to us and share info so that we can make a difference in our community and prevent spread to vulnerable people. If they don’t feel like their information is safe, then our community suffers. I understand larger counties are giving more information. It’s a lot harder to know who any one is when the population is larger. For example, Burnet County has over 50,000. (They have also had a busy week with 40 new cases recorded this past week.) Lampasas County has a little over 21,000 people. Our county only spans 3 zip codes which correlates to the 3 cities in our county. I will tell you that we have had cases in all three and the new cases are about equally dispersed in all three areas/zip codes of the county. This virus can travel around the world in 6 months. I’m not sure any location is spared. We are all in this together. We have had 10 new cases this past week, and before we had 10 cases for a 3-month period, so we are in a stage with increasing virus in our community. I do believe that we can take care of each other to help keep the cases at a minimum. Wear masks, wash hands, avoid large gatherings, stay safe!