BONHAM — Discussion about the continued surge of Covid-19 cases in and around Fannin County dominated Commissioner Edwina Lane’s first Commissioners’ Court meeting Tuesday. Lane, the newly seated Precinct 1 commissioner, is the first female commissioner elected in Fannin County.
County Judge Randy Moore updated commissioners on statistics provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services. As of Tuesday, there were 1,605 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began, with an additional 276 probable cases. There were 99 active cases, 1,745 recoveries and 53 deaths. As of this morning, there were 1,716 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began, with an additional 284 probable cases. There were 162 active cases, 1,801 recoveries and 56 deaths.
Surrounding counties also are seeing a surge in cases, with Moore noting that hospitals in Bonham, Denison and Sherman were “full.” He said he was notified by Texoma Medical Center in Denison that they had 70 patients in the hallways at the ER because beds were not available.
“The hospitals put out a plea of asking the citizens to kind of understand where they are and understand what their needs are,” Moore said. “What the concern is, if somebody does need a bed, they’re concerned we don’t have any. When people think that we’re being overcautious or whatever it might be, we’re not. We’re really not.
“We need to be doing everything we can to keep and free up our hospitals because that’s the only thing we have to rely on if we get seriously sick.”
Moore said he personally knows at least one person who had Covid-19, but who is still dealing with the longterm problems related to infection. Those effects can include pain, brain fog and blood clotting issues.
The county judge credited Emergency Management Coordinator Troy Hudson for his work to get free Covid-19 testing set up. Today through Saturday, there will be testing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Trenton at the community center, 203 N. Pearl St. Testing will return to Bonham from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 11-13 at the Multi-Purpose Complex, 700 FM 87. Testing will be available in Honey Grove from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 21-23 at 100 E. Main St., and it will be available in Leonard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 25-26 at the city park, 601 E. Locust St. Registration for testing is available at https://secure.dentrustocs.com/docs/tdemscreening.
Addressing the county’s vaccine supply, Moore said there is not yet enough for people to line up and receive a shot. As of last week, places in the county with the vaccine included Texoma Medical Center in Bonham, Brookshire’s and Puckett Clinic in Honey Grove. TMC Bonham and Brookshire’s pharmacy were scheduled to receive more this week, the judge said.
A vaccination clinic for first responders is planned for today at the Multi-Purpose Complex, he said.
“You can’t show up and get your vaccination. We have got to get these people vaccinated, if they desire to,” he said.
The judge said vaccines will first be available to county residents falling into the state’s 1A and 1B categories, which includes first responders, health care workers, people 65 and older, and people 16 or older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe infection. Conditions include, but are not limited to, cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, solid organ transplant, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes.
“When it comes down to getting your Covid vaccine, I would say, always call ahead and get your name on a list if you fall in that 1B category. If not, just hold off a little bit, your time will come,” Moore said.
If someone is asked to pay for the vaccine or asked for their personal information so they can be placed on an early access list, it’s likely a scam, the judge warned. For information about the vaccine, he directed people to the DSHS website.
The commissioners extended the county’s Covid-19 emergency declaration and continuity of operations plan another week. Prior to approving the operations plan, a commissioner voiced concern that the commissioners should not be meeting face to face since hospitalizations are on the rise. Moore said he would look into what can be done. One possibility is having the commissioners as the only people in the room with all others attending remotely via Zoom. The commissioners have broadcast their meetings over Zoom since they started reconvening in person in early June.