Harrison County Judge Chad Sims announced Saturday that Harrison County had its sixth confirmed case of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus.
“It’s unknown at this time if it is travel related or community spread,” Sims said on his Facebook page. The judge stated that he would update the information when it became available.
“I urge our residents to stay home, practice excellent hygiene and look out for each other. It takes all of us to stop the spread,” he said on social media.
Earlier in the week, two cases were diagnosed on April 1, one of which was confirmed to be travel related and the other one is still under investigation.
The county’s first death from COVID was also confirmed on April 1, a 62-year-old man.
Sims reported the county had their second and third cases on March 31 and confirmed they were travel-related, most likely to places like Dallas and Shreveport.
The county’s first case was on March 26 and was confirmed to be travel-related outside the state of Texas, according to information released by the Harrison County Health Authority.
According to orders from both the mayor and the county judge, residents are urged to stay at home through a shelter-in-place order issued March 31.
Under this order, citizens are still permitted to perform essential activities for their families including:
- Obtaining medical supplies.
- Visiting a health care provider.
- Obtaining supplies needed to work from home.
- Grocery shopping.
- Engaging in outdoor activities while maintaining social distancing.
- To perform work defined as an essential service.
Citizens at a high risk of illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to remain in their residence except to receive medical care.
Nonessential businesses are required to shut down except for maintaining minimum basic operations. Essential businesses exempted from shut-down are encouraged to determine staff who are essential to operations and to send non- essential staff home.
A full list of all essential services may be found at www.marshalltexas.net.
For the purposes of these orders, “essential travel” includes travel for any of the following purposes:
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to essential activities, essential governmental functions, essential businesses or minimum basic operations;
- Travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
- Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;
- Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction;
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order; or
- Travel required for nonresidents to return to their place of residence outside the city.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the city remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.
When citizens need to leave their places of residence, whether to obtain or perform vital services or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times comply with the social distancing requirement.
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of these orders constitutes an imminent threat to public health. In accordance with Texas Government Code §418.173, a person who knowingly or intentionally violates this Order commits an offense punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days, and each day or portion of a day that such a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
County and city officials urge the community to practice healthy habits including:
- Restrict physical contact and publicly used areas.
- Maintain social distancing with a safe distance of six (6’) feet between individuals.
- Every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of 10 or more per Executive Order of Governor Abbott. Church gatherings are allowed,
- Residents should not visit nursing homes, retirement, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
- Regularly wash hands with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
- If soap is not available, use at least a 60 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. All persons should remain in the home if one person in the home exhibits symptoms
In accordance with the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts or visiting gyms or massage parlors. Residents may still utilize drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options through the order.
If you are experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing, been exposed to a sick traveler or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Inform your physician or emergency department of your symptoms to prevent any potential spread.