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Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Lamar County — so much so that the Paris-Lamar County Health District can’t keep up.

“Due to the recent increase in new and active Covid-19 cases in Lamar County the Paris-Lamar County Health District no longer has the capability, staff or resources to maintain current monitoring and reporting activities,” executive director Gina Prestridge wrote in a Facebook post. “With a projection of an even greater surge to come we are no longer able to maintain the volume.”

On Wednesday alone, the health district reported 79 new Covid cases and one death, a 75-year-old woman. This brings the total number of cases in Lamar County since testing began in March to 2,481. There have been 53 deaths in the county, with 2,072 residents who have recovered.

Prestridge urged Lamar County residents to follow safety guidelines in order to lower infection numbers and prevent deaths, which include quarantining if exposed or following a positive test.

“If you have tested positive, you and all your household members must stay home a minimum of 10 days from test date and make sure you are 24 hours fully symptom free before leaving your home,” Prestridge wrote. “If you are exposed to a confirmed positive, it is imperative that you quarantine for 14 days.”

A study approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that wearing face masks when in close proximity to others helps control the spread of the virus, and Prestridge encouraged Lamar County residents to follow those guidelines and wear face covering while in public.

“This is a critical time for our community! I can’t stress the importance of implementing personal safety measures,” Prestridge said. “This virus is no joke! Wear your MASK people, wear your MASK!!!!”

Julia Furukawa is the assistant managing editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-8744 or at julia.furukawa@theparisnews.com.

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