Model shows stay-at-home compliance will drastically reduce spread of COVID-19 in Erath County
By SARA VANDEN BERGE
A program that predicts the spread of COVID-19 based on location shows that Erath County is on the right track when it comes to the steps it’s taking to stop the spread of the virus.
All that’s needed now, however, is for residents to adhere to the guidelines.
“All projections using this model are based on a three-month duration of measures,” said Dr. Kelly Doggett, Stephenville’s health authority. “As of today, if over the next three months we did nothing as a state, city or county, we'd have 722 hospitalizations in Erath County by May 17, with 81 beds projected to be available.
“The bed number is somewhere between what we have now and what we are licensed for. So that number is in the ballpark.”
The model also shows that if residents continue to shelter-in-place, but have poor compliance there will be 84
hospitalizations by June 4.
But that number goes down drastically when residents comply with the county’s restrictions.
“With good compliance of shelter-in-place we can expect nine hospitalizations by June 3,” Doggett said. “With three months of lockdown - zero hospitalizations are projected.”
Doggett said the model has been consistently accurate world-wide.
“Although I can see behavior modification in our community, a significant number of our citizens are not taking declarations put in place by the county and city seriously,” he said. “I recommend that we echo all White House and CDC recommendations including wearing masks in public.
"The mask is not to protect the wearer, but all others from carriers without symptoms.”
The CDC states that almost any cloth covering the face, including a bandana, will be enough to inhibit the spread of respiratory droplets.
“Stay home, wash your hands frequently, don't touch your face or eyes, and if you have to go out, consider wearing a mask or other cloth cover over your face when in public,” Doggett said.
Erath County is now reporting 10 cases of COVID-19 with four of those inside the Stephenville city limits.