Last week, the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Abilene with the first positive case tested on March 26. Now, as of Monday, March 30, there are 11 confirmed cases in Taylor County.
Six of the cases found have unfortunately been within Disability Resources Inc. One of the infected is a resident at DRI in his 20’s who is receiving care at the facility. This organization provides “exceptional care and contented lives in a Christian environment to adults with intellectual challenges” (DRI).
The remaining five cases were not related to DRI, but typically appear to be travel related. These remaining positive-tested patients include a woman contracted from a travel related incident, two men contracted from the same, a man who appears to also have been infected from a travel incident, and a healthcare worker at Dyess Air Force Base.
One of these men is in his 80’s but is hospitalized and is in stable condition as of now. Most of the patients infected are either receiving care at Hendrick Medical Center or are self-quarantined in their homes.
Information about all of the positive-tested patients is limited but more can be found at kxts.com.
As a result of the recent cases, Mayor Anthony Williams has issued a “Limited Shelter-in-Place” in the city of Abilene. Such misfortune requires the avid response of Abilene’s people to heed the order of Mayor Williams.
Many are asking what the best ways to avoid the spread of the virus are and truly, the best methods are given in the order for limited shelter-in-place. These details of the order are found below:
All are required to stay at home unless:
- going to their place of work;
- getting food, shelter, medical attention/equipment, or clothing;
- attending any establishment for the betterment of the person’s physical, emotional, or spiritual wellbeing so long as it adheres to the required social-distancing methods listed below.
Restricted practices, pastimes, and establishments include:
- any gatherings of 10 or more people;
- dine-in restaurants. All dining must be limited to take-out orders;
- all businesses will be closed unless otherwise deemed “essential”. Those closed will include hair salons, barbers, nail salons, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, arcade, movie theaters, gyms, and other organizations similar to these;
- restaurants must limit their customers to meet the social-distancing requirements listed. Further, businesses must limit their employees working to 50% or more in order to meet the requirements.
Lastly, all are required to self quarantine in the case of symptoms resembling unless:
- they have gone 72 hours without a fever without having taken fever-reduction medications;
- they have gone 14 days without experiencing any symptoms;
- they are going to seek medical attention.
This list of restriction will have an affect on a multitude of businesses and many will suffer. However, this order is a necessary step to prevent a further, much more devastating spread of the disease.
The large majority of those tested have still come back negative, however, as of now, there are 148 cases that are pending.
At the city council meeting, City Manager Robert Hanna reiterated the seriousness of the shelter-in-place order by stating, the order “does not work if people do not take this seriously.”