BONHAM — Active cases of Covid-19 in Fannin County rose slightly this week, but remained at a low 17, County Judge Randy Moore told commissioners Tuesday morning. Ten of the cases were in the prisons, leaving just seven cases in the public, he said. A day later, the active case count dropped to 14.

The hospitalization rate for the Trauma Service Area that includes Fannin County through Sunday, the latest day for which data was available at the time of the meeting, remained stable at about 3.4%, however, it too ticked up slightly to 3.65% by Tuesday. It remains well below the 15% threshold that in December and January triggered business opening and capacity restrictions.

“As I’ve said many times, Fannin County is kind of that little island that’s been blessed by God, no doubt, because we’re always sitting there with the least number of Covid cases, the least number of active cases, the lowest hospitalization rate, the least number of deaths of anybody around us, and we’re still there,” Moore said.

Hearing the data Moore presented, commissioners voted to extend the county’s Covid-19 continuity of plans and disaster declaration another week.

With Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines coming into the county, vaccines are becoming more readily available for those wanting to get a dose. Troy Hudson, Fannin County’s Emergency Management coordinator, reported to commissioners that the scheduling center, formerly the county’s Vaccine Call Center, continued to have difficulty contacting people who registered before the call center ceased operations. Thirteen people were scheduled March 30, eight on April 1 and 16 on Monday, Hudson said.

With so few contacts, Moore said the center had outlived its usefulness, especially since many providers have had time to set up their own scheduling services.

“The whole idea behind having the call center, which we started back in January, was the board wanted to help citizens to be able to reach somebody. Now we’re at a point that we’re not really helping them anymore. If you can only schedule 16 people, you got four people calling all day long, and you can only schedule 14 to 16 people, you’re not really helping many people,” Moore said.

He said 500 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was brought into the county last week, and they were distributed to county pharmacies. Places to register are listed on the county’s website, co.fannin.tx.us, Moore said.

In other business, commissioners approved a change in zoning applications for 1.75 acres of CR 2900 in Dodd City following a public hearing held 10 minutes before the regular weekly meeting. There were no comments against the change during the hearing, and commissioners quickly approved the change during their meeting.

Also as part of the agenda, discussion on whether to allow the Bonham Masonic Lodge to hold a ceremony for the masonic cornerstone on the courthouse during Fannin County’s Rededication Day led to a split approval to make that recommendation to the rededication committee. Moore cast a dissenting vote because he felt the matter should have just gone before the committee.

Rex Jackson, an associate pastor at Boyd Baptist Church, spoke to commissioners about the need for unity, and in that unity, not to allow for special ceremonies by organizations that are not a majority part of the community. He suggested there be time set aside before or after the rededication to allow such ceremonies.

Commissioner A.J. Self, who presented the agenda item, said he didn’t mean the masonic ceremony should happen during the rededication ceremony, only that it should be allowed during the day.

“I would support it being after,” he said. “From the historical side of it, I believe that it should happen.”

Self put it on the agenda only to get the Commissioners’ Court backing to send it to the rededication committee, he said.

Moore said he wants that committee to host its first meeting soon.

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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