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Posted on: March 23, 2020

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATE FROM JOINT OPERATIONS CENTER 3-20-20 10:00 a.m.

At the time of this release, Bowie County has one confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Governor Greg Abbott spoke at a virtual town hall yesterday evening and clarified the executive orders he put into effect yesterday.

“Your public health and safety is at risk,” Abbott said. ”We need your collaboration, cooperation to make sure we contain the spread of COVID-19. If we do this for just the next few weeks, we will be able to make sure we get this whole challenge behind us.”

Abbott placed restrictions on the state of Texas beginning at midnight tonight which include closing restaurants/bars for dining-in, but carry-out and drive-thrus are still permitted. He said that all schools and gyms will be temporarily closed, including public and private schools, and gatherings of 10 or more are prohibited. All nursing homes will be closed to visitors. These restrictions will stay in place until midnight on April 3rd, 2020 and apply to Bowie County and all of Texas.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson extended the closure of Arkansas schools until April 17th, 2020 and ordered bars and restaurants to close their dining rooms until further notice, in a press conference yesterday afternoon.

"As you can see from the actions that we’ve taken today, we are being aggressive and leaning forward to get a handle on this," said Gov. Hutchinson.

Locally, officials urge residents to stay home.

In order to get ahead of the spread of COVID-19 in our community, leaders are urging families to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel. Please do not get groups of children and neighbors together for sleepovers and back yard parties. Birthday parties should be rescheduled and you should limit social interactions to immediate family members. If everyone cooperates, this will be a temporary situation.

According to Dr. Matt Young, the Local Health Authority, it is not recommended to seek out testing for the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) unless an individual cannot manage their symptoms at home with over-the-counter medications.

“We want to ask everyone to stay at home as much as possible, even if you are well,” Dr. Young said, “Follow the CDC guidelines. Only go outside for necessary travel. Our community has been very responsible, and we are now asking you to increase our responsibility to show others how Texarkana, USA and our Four States area can work together to decrease the spread of this virus.”

Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell asks residents to be creative about how to continue patronizing businesses in safe and responsible ways. This is possible by ordering takeout, calling service providers on the phone, shopping local businesses online, and continuing to support their daily operations.

Dr. Matt Young advises individuals who may be feeling ill to treat symptoms with acetaminophen, and avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.

The EOC is collecting data regarding patients who have been tested, and persons under investigations. We are asking local healthcare facilities to call in and notify EOC personnel of each potential case at (903) 255-5562.

Please help us spread the word that there have been telephone scammers preying on the elderly during this pandemic. As a reminder, do not give your personal information out over the phone for any reason.

Several local grocery stores and retail establishments have instituted policies to assist senior citizens with shopping and access to groceries they may need in a safe environment. Visit www.coronatxk.org for a list of these stores and their provisions.

Arkansas Act 376 of 1997 prohibits business from price gouging during a state of emergency. The law prohibits businesses from charging more than 10 percent above the pre-disaster price of goods or services.

§17.46(b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act provides that it is a false, misleading or deceptive act or practice to take advantage of a disaster declared by the Governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, or the President by:

  • Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price;
  • Demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity.

A list of closures and cancellations, the latest information and updates, and daily updates can all be found at www.coronatxk.org. The local hotline telephone number is (903) 255-5560.

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