Positive COVID-19 cases on the rise in Fisher and Stonewall counties as school districts return to session with fall sports underway, and public officials from medical, educational, and civic institutions are striving to keep facilities operating as safely as possible.
On Sunday, Spur ISD announced multiple students and at least one staff member tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the district to conduct remote learning for all students until the second week of September. At the time of publication, Aspermont, Roby, and Rotan school districts have not deviated from their respective education plans, and sporting events are continuing as scheduled.
Aspermont ISD confirmed there was one student that tested positive for COVID. Proper quarantine guidelines for the patient and close contact individuals were initiated, and sporting events have not been affected. Hornet Coach Mark Weaver said he was looking forward to Thursday night’s game against Valley.
Roby and Rotan games will also go ahead as scheduled, although Fisher County currently falls under Gov. Abbott’s July 2 executive order GA-29 for mandatory face coverings while inside any facility building open to the public and in an outdoor public space when not feasible to maintain a six-foot-distance.
Fisher County had maintained single digits since reporting its first case in May but saw a surge in cases in mid-August. The number of active cases jumped from six to over 20 in a matter of days, which triggered the Governor’s orders. GA-29 affects all counties with more than 20 active cases.
Although Stonewall’s low number of cases exempts the county from the Governor’s mandates, many public entities — such as the courthouse and AISD — are following the recommended guidelines. The most recent case in Stonewall County was reported earlier this week, a second confirmed positive for the Stonewall Living Center.
SLC released a statement on Monday, stating there was minimal exposure to other residents, and the patient’s primary contact has been staff. All residents were again tested and have returned negative results.
Staff members are also being tested, and SLC Director Nathan Smith confirmed employee testing would be completed by week’s end. Results of tests returned so far have also been negative; others are pending.
The resident was moved to an isolated area of the building, and medical officials report the patient’s symptoms are improving, and “It unknown how this resident contracted the virus at this point.”
Per the CDC’s guidelines, the resident will remain in quarantin for the required 14 days and must be completely symptom-free befor the quarantine is lifted. The first resident — who tested positive more than two weeks ago — returned from quarantine earlier this week.
That first case initiated state protocols, and an HHSC investigator toured the facility last week, inspecting all support service procedures. Smith said, “[The inspctor] was impressed with our new disinfecting systems and requested to use us and our system as a reference for best practices.”
Fisher County Hospital District is reopening its Sick Clinic, Monday – Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. In a statement, FCHD officials said, “Our Sick Clinic is a better way to separate well patients from sick ones.”
At the time of publication, Fisher County has reported a total of 52 positive cases, with 30 people having recovered. Stonewall County reported nine cases; four have recovered. There have been over 580,000 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide, and more than 457,000 Texas have made recoveries. There remain roughly 111,000 active cases across the state.