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County to Hire Epidemiologist to Track Spread of COVID-19

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County to Hire Epidemiologist to Track Spread of COVID-19

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Comal County will use state grant money to hire an epidemiologist to track COVID-19 cases in the county. File image.

COVID-19 has entered the “acceleration stage,” Comal County Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser warned Commissioners Court at their weekly meeting on Thursday.

Commissioners responded by voting to bring an epidemiologist on board for one year with the help of $132,341 in grant money provided by the Department of State Health Services’ COVID-19 Crisis Cooperative Agreement. The state also will provide equipment needed to help track of the virus’ spread in Comal County.

Fraser said she and another nurse working in the Office of Public Health “think of things too clinically, too deeply” adequately keep up with new cases.

“This will be someone who is trained to do that,” she said.

Also on Thursday, County Judge Sherman Krause said Comal County Sheriff’s Office has created a task force whose goal is to enforce provisions in an order  issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this week.

“I think we’ll still have some spread, but if we take those kind of action I think that will be a big help,” he said.

Sheriff’s Office forms COVID-19 Task Force

On March 27 Krause issued COVID-19 guidance that included voluntary shutdown of water-recreation businesses and close-contact businesses like hair salons, but warned of future mandatory orders affecting close-contact businesses, water recreation businesses, and parks if these suggestions are ignored.

Pct. 1 Commissioner Donna Eccleston, who lives in Canyon Lake, noted she has observed a significant lack of social distancing in her neighborhood, describing a “blooming of RVs” in driveways.

“So thank you for those additional measures because I have been getting a great many calls,” she said to Krause. “Luckily nobody’s kno0cked on my door to complain up close but it is a great concern to everybody in the county beause we’re all at risk at this point in time. So I’m hoping that everybody will be responsible in every respect.”

 

 

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