KETR

coronavirus

Commerce Chamber of Commerce, Facebook

Paul Voss, Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager, says Hunt County has purchased the building to the east of the Chamber office on Main Street in downtown Commerce.  Renovation of the building is underway and it soon serve as the office for the Justice of the Peace Kerry Crews and Constable Wayne "Doc" Pierce.  Also, Paul says a number of Commerce businesses have now received checks from the federal government to help offset the closings caused by the coronavirus.

Amazon.com

Our books commentator, Sharon Feldt of Sulphur Springs, says the recent best-selled "One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow" by Olivia Hawker has a storyline that relates to our situation in the current coronavirus crisis.  It is the story of two families facing extreme hardship on the Wyoming frontier.  Sharon also reviews

Hunt Regional Healthcare

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville and Bras for the Cause says the Hunt Regional Medical Center is using a robot provided by Bras for the Cause several years ago to sterilize personal protective equipment (PPE) each day.  The robot was originally provided to sterilize cancer-treatment facilities with ultraviolet light, but Hunt Regional realized it could also be used to sterilize valuable PPE in the coronavirus crisis.  Pud also says she believes m

C-CAP, Facebook

Dr. Bob Johnson and Dr.

KETR

Paul Voss, manager of the Commerce Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber will assist businesses in applying for the federal loans that have been made available.  He says the council can help businesses apply online, and has packets that contain the information needed to apply.

KETR

Kim Saenz, the director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, discusses the steps involved when a person is tested for the coronavirus.  She says Hunt Regional is now able to test individuals for antibodies.  Kim says all visitors to Hunt Regional facilities receive a brief medical check-up when entering the building to see if they may have coronavirus symptoms.

As testing expands, the presence of COVID-19 in Texas nursing homes is becoming apparent.
NPR

One death in a Paris nursing home and dozens of other confirmed COVID-19 cases in that home and one in Rockwall are consistent with a nationwide trend of residents and staff of long-term care facilities coming down with the illness caused by the coronavirus.

State Comptroller's Office

Dr. Dale Funderburk, Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor, says Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to restart the Texas economy, limiting many businesses to 25 percent capacity in their buildings, seems a reasonable move.  But Dr. Funderburk says it is impossible to know if 25 percent is too large or too small as the state attempts to balance the health and the economic risks.

Texas Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Malls Open With Limited Capacity Friday

Apr 28, 2020
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced his plan for re-opening some Texas businesses on April 27.
KERA News

Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that he will let the state’s stay-at-home order expire Thursday as scheduled and allow businesses to begin reopening in phases the next day, the latest ramp-up in his push to restart the Texas economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce, Facebook

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says he is delighted with the response of Commerce buisnesses and citizens to the coronavirus crisis.  He says people are volunteering to help each other, and local restaurants offering take-out and delivery service are doing good business.

KETR

Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the city will take the lead of Gov. Greg Abbott and the Hunt County Commissioners Court as local businesses prepare to reopen after the coronavirus shut down.  The mayor says he agrees with the cautious approach shown by the state and the county in returning to work.

Cooper Lake State Park, Facebook

Steve Killian, superintendent of Cooper Lake State Park, says the park is open again for day-use only (no camping allowed).  Masks and social distancing are required, and the park playground equipment is not open for children.  Entry fees must be paid online in advance.  Those with a season pass should also go online to get a permit.

City of Paris government could soon be providing $25 coronavirus tests to anyone who wanted them.
KETR

In Lamar County, Paris mayor Steve Clifford has announced plans to provide drive-through coronavirus testing to the general public for a fee.

Texas A&M-Commerce

Dr. Nick Patras, director of the Texas A&M-Commerce Counseling Center, considers a recent USA Today article, "Five Ways You Can Stay In Control of Your Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic."  One way is keeping a "to-do" list of things to do with your time each day.  Dr. Patras also recommends limiting the amount of time you watch or listen to the news about the coronavirus situation.

Hun Regional Healthcare

Kim Saenz, director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, says more testing for the coronavirus is now available, through Hunt Regional Medical Center, the emergency centers, and local medical labs.  Hunt Regional is asking for retired health-care professionals to volunteer to help in the emergency.  Also, Hunt Regional has a link on its web page to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) self-checker for coronavirus.

Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum, Facebook

Susan Lanning, the director of the Audie Murphy-American Cotton Museum in Greenville, says the museum is collecting the writing of people who are staying at home during the coronavirus crisis, in the form of diary and journal entries.  Photos and art are also being requested.  The documents will provide an excellent historic record of this unprecedented period.  The museum also has started a new YouTube page that may be usef

KETR

Dr. Nick Patras, director of the Texas A&M-Commerce Counseling Center, says while at home waiting out the coronavirus, it's important to maintain a normal routine, of waking at a certain hour and doing the usual things necessary to prepare the the day.  Dr. Patras says many students are finding it difficult to be back at home with parents and siblings after becoming accustomed to a certain amount of independence while away at college.

Hunt Regional Healthcare

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville says the Hunt Regional Health Care web page features a link to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) self-checker for the coronavirus, which will help determine if you have symptoms of the illness.

Community Seeds

Bert Cooper, the director of the faith-based organizaton Community Seeds in Lone Oak, says they are helping about four times as many people than usual during the coronavirus crisis.  Those in need of help with food, housing or other issues may call (903) 634-5673.  The "incubator kitchen" that Community Seeds has been building for some time to allow people to prepare "homemade" food for sale is complete, but unable to open because of the virus situation.

CASA Hunt County

Lori Cope, director of CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of Hunt County, says CASA is conducting its visit of children in foster care by video conference calls while stay-at-home orders are in effect.  Also, CASA is continuing to provide training of new volunteers via online programs.  April is "Chila Abuse Prevention Month." 

Texas General Land Office

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor discusses the existence in the 19th and earl 20th centuries of the "pest (for pestilence) house" in many communities, where people with highly contagious diseases were taken to be treated.  In her blog, she writes about a pest house in Virginia where the mortality rate decreased from 50 percent to 5 percent.  Greenville had a pest house where wealthy businessman Tom King went to recover from smallpox.

Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always; Facebook

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie critic, says while many movies scheduled for release have been put on hold by the coronavirus threat, some are being released for online viewing.  One she highly recommends that would have opened in theaters this weekend is the romance "Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always," although the cost will be a pricy $20.

Texas A&M Energy Institute

Dr. Dale Funderburk, Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor, assesses the effect on the Texas economy of the recent drop in oil prices caused by the clash between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and the decreasing demand for oil due to stay-at-home policies in place around the country.

KETR

Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says he is concerned that some young people, with school not in session because of the coronavirus threat, are congregating in groups and not observing the social-distancing recommendations to stop the spread of the virus.  Also, the mayor says Commerce citizens are lagging behind the state average in completing the 2020 Census, and he's

Texas A&M Agrilife

Cynthia Beacom, Hunt County Master Gardener, says gardening is an excellent activity for people who are forced to stay home because of the coronavirus.  Gardening can burn up to 300 calories an hour.  On another topic, Cynthia says crepe myrtle bark scale is becoming a problem.  It is not fatal to the trees, but reduces their blooms and covers the trunks with a dark scaly substance.

An undated photo of Whitley Hall on the campus of A&M-Commerce. Like much of Northeast Texas, the campus is quieter than usual.
Texas A&M University-Commerce / Marketing and Communications

In an effort to keep up with coronavirus and COVID-19 developments around the region, this blog will be kept during the crisis. A statistical account of COVID-19 cases in the KETR listening area and local restrictions in place can be found here. This blog will be kept in reverse chronological order, with newest entries at the top.

Last updated, April 15, 3:09 p.m.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce, Facebook

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says the chamber has a Facebook page called "Commerce To Go" that provides information on take-out food services offered by Commerce restaurants. Paul says the city's businesses have risen to the occasion during the coronavirus crisis.

  

Texas Tribune

Dr. Dale Funderburk, Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor, discusses the effect of the coronavirus on the economy.  Dr.

Commerce Community Action Program (C-CAP), Facebook

Dr. Bob Johnson, founder of the Commerce Community Action Program and a retired professor of social work at Texas A&M-Commerce, says C-CAP has distributed a fact sheet on ways to maintain good mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

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