Abbott issues executive order; one new Tyler County case

By Chris Edwards
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The number of COVID-19 cases in Tyler County now stands at two.

Last week, Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette announced a confirmed positive case of a 52-year-old Fred woman. Blanchette said the woman is currently at home under isolation, and that she exhibited possible symptoms of the virus at a clinic outside of the county, was tested and a positive result was returned on Thursday.

The first case was announced earlier last week with a 61-year-old Hillister woman, who is also quarantined in her home.

The county’s Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Jobe said that 36 individuals in the county have been tested. Statewide, as of Tuesday morning, the number of confirmed cases was at 8,163 and 153 deaths.

On Tuesday, April 2, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order which implemented essential services and activities for the entire state. The protocols detailed in the governor’s order direct all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not members of the same household.

Examples of essential services include healthcare; grocery stores; banking and financial services; utilities; childcare for essential service employees and governmental services.

The executive order follows decisions made by President Donald Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the social distancing guidelines until April 30.

Abbott said “Now it is time to redouble our efforts to reduce further exposure as much as possible and flatten the curve. As with all the actions the state is taking, the Essential Services and Activities Protocols is informed by the expertise and guidance of the CDC as well as state and local health officials. I urge my fellow Texans to heed these heightened social distancing directives to protect their health and the health of those around them.”

Blanchette issued an update on Tuesday, which reiterates some of the key points of Abbott’s order. He also wanted to remind residents to call the Southeast Texas Regional Call Center at 409-550-2536 to be evaluated for testing if anyone has experienced the symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath) or believe they have been exposed to an infected individual.

The call center is open 24-7. At the national level, the number of deaths attributed to the virus topped 10,000 on Monday, but some officials have said that the social distancing guidelines are having a positive effect.

There are, at press time, 378,881 confirmed cases throughout the country and 11,833 deaths. Of those cases, 20,044 have recovered.

Copyright Polk County Publishing Company