One major concern with the spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation is the availability of hospital beds and ventilators.
On Sunday, AdventHealth Public Relations and Marketing Manager Erin Riley said both AdventHealth Rollins Brook in Lampasas and AdventHealth Central Texas in Killeen “have adequate supplies to care for the citizens of Central Texas.
“We do ask that our communities continue to work with us by continuing to follow the CDC recommendations for social distancing and only come to our facilities if they are truly in need of care,” Riley said. “This will ensure that we will be able to provide the care as we navigate through these challenging times.”
The virus has spread to more than 354,000 cases worldwide after it was first identified in China.
At press time Monday, in the U.S. there had been 35,530 cases and 473 deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control had confirmed one active case in Burnet County, two in Brown County and 10 in Bell County. No confirmed cases had been reported in Lampasas County.
The Lampasas City Council voted unanimously Monday to issue an emergency declaration that includes an order for city residents "to shelter at their place of residence."
The declaration -- which states a need to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease -- shall continue through April 3, unless the council extends the order.
The order requires all city of Lampasas residents to take shelter at their residence -- and to leave their residences only for what are defined as Essential Activities, Essential Government Functions or operating Essential Businesses.
Essential Activities include:
• obtaining medical supplies or medicine, or visiting a health care professional.
• getting supplies needed to work from home.
• obtaining groceries "and any other household consumers products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences." People are allowed to get those supplies for themselves, as well as their family or household members. People also are allowed to deliver those supplies to others.
• outdoor exercise including walking, hiking, running or bicycling. Except for people living at the same residence, those who engage in outdoor activities
• caring for a family member or pet in another household.
To read the full definitions of Essential Activities, Essential Government Function and Essential Businesses -- as well as the specific requirements of the emergency order -- use this link.
All businesses not defined as "essential" are required to cease activities at facilities within the city. There are exceptions for Minimum Basic Operations -- such as tasks necessary to support work-from-home arrangements for employees, as well as activities "to maintain the value of the business' inventory, ensure security," and process payroll and/or employee benefits.
Statewide, 352 cases and eight deaths had been identified as of Monday morning.
AdventHealth Rollins Brook and AdventHealth Central Texas are able to test for COVID-19. Riley said, however, “testing will only be administered after a health care professional has determined that your risk factors qualify you for advanced screening.
“Risk factors include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and either recent international travel or travel on a cruise or prolonged close contact with someone recently diagnosed with COVID-19,” she said.
Late last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered citizens to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 individuals, and dining in restaurants, while take-out and drivethrough eating options were encouraged. Other measures, such as shelter-in-place orders, varied from city to city and county to county.
The Lampasas Fire Department has changed its procedure for medical calls and is no longer responding with Acadian Ambulance Service to most 911 medical calls.
Medical calls have made up the vast majority of LFD’s total calls in recent years.
Lampasas Fire Chief Jeff Smith said Acadian will screen each caller and determine if there is a high likelihood of virus exposure.
“If EMS units arrive and determine that they need our assistance with patient care, the unit on scene will call for our assistance, and we will respond,” Smith said. “This change in response was initiated by Acadian EMS medical control in attempts to decrease the potential exposure of first responders and help provide continuity of workforce.”
The Lampasas Volunteer Fire Department has canceled Tuesday drills and meetings, which often result in a total of 10 or more people at the station.
“We continue to need volunteer response as always [for fires and wrecks],” Smith said. “Volunteers are still allowed to come and go as normal at this time,” although LVFD officials said volunteers are urged not to go on medical calls during the coronavirus outbreak.
Lampasas Police Department announced on social media that, as a precaution, the LPD front lobby is closed for now. The department still will function and answer emergency calls 24/7, officials said.
“We have an intercom out front and our phone number listed on the door to call 512- 556-3645,” LPD stated. “There is a bench, or you can wait in your vehicle for one of us to come out to meet with you. If you are at the building and have an emergency, call 911.”
Police officers are continuing their daily lawenforcement duties.
Anyone who would like to make a police report and has health concerns may call LPD at 512-556-3645 and, in the case of an emergency, 911. Openrecords requests may be made by emailing ksanguinet@ cityoflampasas.com.