Hunt County government officials will not consider implementing mask-wearing warrants for employees or visitors as the county lingers amid a wave of COVID-19.
“We are under the governor’s orders and we are not going to break the law,” said Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall, referring to Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that prohibited local entities from issuing warrants. mask.
The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday temporarily blocked mask warrants in
the counties of Dallas and Bexar, which had sought to defy the order.
Stovall said he had no plans to do the same in Hunt County.
“I am not going to spend taxpayers’ money trying to fight it,” he said.
Courts within the Hunt County Courthouse, including the 196th and 354th District Courts and County Courts, are under the direction of the Office of Courts Administration and the 196th District Judge
Andrew Bench, County Administrative Judge.
As of Wednesday, masks have been encouraged, but not mandatory, at the courthouse, though security guards are performing mandatory temperature checks and asking if anyone entering the building has shown symptoms of COVID-19.
The Paris Independent School District Council voted on Tuesday to make masks part of the student dress code.
Helen M. Williams, communications director for Greenville ISD, which started the new school year on Monday, said masks remained optional for students in the district.
Masks are also optional for anyone visiting the City of Greenville offices, although the mask is recommended.
Meanwhile, Hunt County has recorded dozens of additional cases of the virus overnight, and the intensive care unit at Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville remains jam-packed with COVID-19 patients, almost all of whom do not. were not vaccinated against the virus.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Tuesday evening that Hunt County had 6,117 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 71 cases since Monday, with 1,244 probable cases, 41 more than what had been previously reported.
The state agency reported that Hunt County had a total of 185 deaths attributed to COVID-19 as of the last count on Tuesday.
Hunt County had an estimated 6,925 cumulative recoveries from the virus on Tuesday, 54 more than on Monday.
There were 436 active cases of the virus reported in Hunt County on Tuesday, 58 more than had been reported a day earlier.
Lisa Hill, director of foundation development and marketing communications for Hunt Regional Healthcare, said Tuesday morning that Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville had 62 COVID patients.
“Twenty-one of these patients are in our 16-bed intensive care unit, which means we have double occupancy in five of our intensive care rooms,” Hill said. “We are expecting sufficient staff to double the number of patients in additional intensive care rooms. There are 15 patients waiting in the emergency room in Greenville and one in Quinlan now waiting on inpatient beds. There are 16 patients in intensive care on ventilators – none are vaccinated. “
Hill said more nurses are arriving.
“Of the 20 itinerant nurses expected on Monday, 17 have arrived and are under orientation right now,” Hill said. “We have been informed that 10 intensive care nurses and eight respiratory therapists from the state will arrive tomorrow.”
Itinerant nurses cost Hunt Regional Healthcare approximately $ 200,000 per week. The Hunt County Commissioners’ Court on Monday pledged $ 1 million in federal funding for the U.S. Rescue Plan (ARP) to the hospital district to help it recover the additional costs.
“Currently, the CDC recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of the vaccine,” Hill said.
Eligible people include people receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood; who have had an organ transplant and are taking medicines to suppress the immune system; who have had a stem cell transplant within the past two years or who are taking medicines to suppress the immune system; who have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome); advanced or untreated HIV infection; or who are being actively treated with high dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.
Anyone meeting the current criteria for the third dose can make an appointment at the Hunt Regional Emergency Care Center using the link https://hrmedpartners.org/covid-vaccine-information/.
“The Medicine Shoppe in Greenville has been confirmed to also provide third doses by appointment,” Hill said. “Other pharmacies in the area and CareVide are providing the first and second doses of the COVID vaccine and we strongly encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.”
Hospitals in Trauma Service Area E, a 19-county area of North Texas that includes Hunt County, reported 2,853 patients were in hospital beds with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, which represented 23.33% of the 12,227 patients hospitalized with the virus across Texas. Hospitals in Trauma Service Area E reported that as of Monday, 18.36% of all hospital patients in the area were due to COVID-19.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported that 43.69% of the Hunt County population aged 12 and older had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 35.86% were fully immunized.
The state agency said 70.11% of Hunt County’s population, aged 65 and over, had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 62.92% were fully vaccinated.
The number of people vaccinated in Hunt County and in each county in the state is available online at https://tinyurl.com/29mgxxan
Several locations in Greenville and Hunt County have doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines available, with a listing online at https://www.vaccines.gov/search/