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First COVID-19 Related Death in Gaines County

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
First COVID-19 Related Death in Gaines County

With positive cases of COVID-19 on the rise, a fatality related to the coronavirus has been reported in Gaines County. According to a COVID-19 Health Alert issued by Zack Holbrooks, executive director for the SPPHD (South Plains Public Health District), on Monday, July 27, the death of a Gaines County resident related to COVID-19 was confirmed. The name or location of residence of the deceased has not been released.

Holbrooks wrote: “The SPPHD will continue monitoring current cases in Gaines and individuals who have been identified as close contacts of those cases as indicated by the CDC. As the spread of COVID-19 continues, the number of individuals monitored by the Health District will increase. The Health District will continue to keep the public apprised of new cases in Gaines County. For positive cases in which the source of exposure is not believed to be from community spread, SPPHD will report exposure sites as we receive that information from patients."

On Monday, the owners of Perika's Terrace, a popular restaurant on Main Street in Seminole, announced one of their team members had tested positive for the coronavirus. In a public announcement on both their website and social media, Anna Diaz wrote," We are informing the public that one of our Team Members has tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19). This employee last worked Thursday evening, July 23, 2020, and felt ill the next day, Friday, when she tested."

Diaz added that Perika's management has been in contact with the Health Department and is following directions from SPPHD. All areas of the restaurant are being sanitized, and an air purification system has been installed through the building's ventilation system. "We have sanitizing stations at both entrances, and we have signs posted all over our restaurant, we recommend that you wear your masks upon entering our location, but will not refuse service if you don't wear one. We ask that you remain at a safe distance from other parties that are together, and we do not serve tables over ten people," she said.

In Sunday's issue of the Seminole Sentinel, a news release from the Seminole Hospital District announced that an employee with the Memorial Health Care Center tested positive for COVID-19 on July 22. According to the statement, "Memorial Health Care Center has been following the Texas Governor's orders and following all guidelines and required actions from the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services related to COVID-19 infection."

Many local residents, concerned about increasing numbers of positive cases in Gaines County, have asked for information on COVID-19 testing. Monarch Specialties, located in Andrews, will be offering both antibody and PCR testing in Seminole on Saturday, August 1. A PCR test is a diagnostic test that determines if you are infected by analyzing a sample to see if it contains genetic material from the virus. Monarch's screening will be available as a drive-up test at West Texas Fire and Industrial Supply from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For additional information and details, contact Monarch Specialties at 432-227-3263.

Holbrooks also announced an update to the number of coronavirus cases in and around Gaines County as of Monday evening. A total of 99 cases have been reported and seven new cases were confirmed on July 27. Fortythree cases remain active, 55 individuals have recovered, and there has been one death.

As of July 27, Dawson County has had a total of 127 cases, five new cases were confirmed, 27 are active, and 99 have recovered. One death due to the virus was reported in Dawson County. There have been 101 COVID-19 cases in Terry County, six new ones were confirmed on Monday, 36 are active, and 65 have recovered. There have been no fatalities.

Lynn County reports a total of 62 cases with two new confirmed. Seven cases are active, and 52 have recovered. Three Lynn County residents have died due to the virus. Yoakum County's total confirmed cases stands at 66 with two new ones established. Their active total is at 18, 47 individuals have recovered, and one has died.

The Health District notes they will continue to keep the public apprised of new cases in Gaines County. "For positive cases in which the source of exposure is not believed to be from community spread, SPPHD will report exposure sites as we receive that information from patients."