COVID numbers remain at 13. But health official tells residents not to relax just yet.



By SARA VANDEN BERGE

No new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Erath County since Thursday morning when numbers 12 and 13 came in just minutes apart.

Of the 13 patients who have been diagnosed with coronavirus, five are from Stephenville, two from Dublin and six from rural areas of the county.

But city and county health officials continue to remind residents about the importance of adhering to the shelter in place order and continuing to practice social distancing.

“People may be getting numb to the message, but we can’t relax yet,” said Dr. Kelly Doggett, the city’s health authority.

NEW MODEL SHOWS UNSETTLING POSSIBILITY

Dr. Doggett shared new data with city and county officials earlier this week that takes into account population, number of cases, projected number of available hospital beds and mitigating measures in place.


“The model is currently projecting numbers based on shelter at home with lax compliance and with strict compliance,” he said. “The scenario using lax compliance, which assumes closure of all non-essential businesses, predicts we’ll exceed hospital capacity with 83 COVID patients by June 1 with best case model with strict stay-at-home predicting 15 hospitalizations by May 31.

“We currently have around 38 beds available. We are licensed for about 90 beds, but the issue would be staffing. It does not matter how many beds are in place if we don’t have people to take care of those patients.”

The model predicts that with strict stay-at-home there will be 2,500 cases over the next three months.

With lax stay-at-home there will be 20,000.

The model shows that anywhere from 6% to 48% of residents will get sick.

“Most of us will be fine, but some of us will become very ill,” he said. “The model indicates we need more aggressive actions.”

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Beneath the Surface News. sara@beneaththesurfacenews.com