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Covid-19 cases are surging in Lamar County this week, prompting health officials to again encourage the use of face masks and physical distancing to slow the spread.

Dr. Amanda Green, Paris Regional Medical Center’s chief medical officer, on Tuesday issued a Covid-19 Health Alert, in which she said “we are having our largest surge in Paris over the last few days.”

The comment is supported by Paris-Lamar County Health District data, which shows more than 150 new confirmed cases this week. Eighty-eight of the cases were reported on Monday alone, along with two virus-related deaths, including an 84-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman. New case confirmations included patients ranging in age from 4 to 99, according to the district’s data.

“The way to slow this down is to stay home if able, keep distance from people when in public, keep your hands clean and away from your face, and wear a mask,” Green wrote in her alert. “Sometimes wearing a mask is the main variable you can control. It isn’t perfect, but it has been proven to help with community control when everyone wears one.”

Green said Paris Regional Medical Center employees reflect the community, and she warned that if the rate of infection remains out of control, “we will not have nurses, food service, and environment of care workers to care for patients at the hosiptal, especially with around 15% of hospitalized patients with Covid-19 that require extra work from all departments.”

The doctor also addressed the idea of herd immunity gained by everyone just catching the virus to get it over with, saying that’s “not a good strategy.”

“Covid-19 is not the common cold. Covid-19 is more like chicken pox — causing delayed symptoms in many (like chicken pox causes the shingles). The problem is that Covid-19 is unpredictable in terms of what system it infects and inflames. People can also get reinfections,” Green wrote.

Lamar County has had 1,584 confirmed cases of the virus since testing began in March and 38 have resulted in death. On Wednesday, there were 231 active cases. That’s up from 178 one week prior. Of the county’s total cases, 1,272 are considered recovered, however, Covid-19 is known to have long-term effects, such as brain fog, fatigue and blood clotting issues, even after a patient is no longer considered infected.

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6960 or klark.byrd@theparisnews.com.

Managing Editor

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News and the editor of Paris Life Magazine. He resides in Paris with his wife, Krystle, and their three children, Charlie, Annalise and Willow.

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