KETR

COVID-19

Commerce ISD

Charlie Alderman, Commerce ISD superintendent, says Commerce High School reopens today (Monday, August 31) and Commerce Elementary School will reopen Tuesday, September 1.  The schools closed last week because at 10 percent of students had a "close contact" with someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The new standard set by the school board will be that the schools will close if one percent of students test positive for COVID-19.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor contrasts the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic to the devasting 1918 flu outbreak in North Texas.  Many closings occurred then, and people were urged to wear masks.

Commerce ISD, Facebook

Commerce ISD Superintendent Charlie Alderman says things went smoothly on the district's first day of schools since the coronavirus hit last March. For at least the first two weeks, students will use a "hybrid" schedule in which  they are divided in two groups, with each group attending classes two days per week and working online on  the other days.  Charlie says the students he saw were wearing their masks and maintaining social distancing on the first day.

Hunt Regional Healthcare

Frances Dalbey, outreach specialist for Hunt Regional Healthcare, says individuals should not put off health screenings despite the inconveniences caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  Frances says Hunt Regional is able to provide all screenings in a safe manner.  Frances also discusses recent changes in the rules for visitors at the Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville.

Commerce ISD

Commerce ISD Superintendent Charlie Alderman says the school board has decided to delay the start of the new school year one week, until Tuesday, August 11, and the schools will start with a "hybrid schedule" of two days in school and three days at home for at least the first two weeks.

Players at smaller schools like Cooper High School, shown here in a 2015 photo, may begin practice on Aug. 3.
Cindy Roller

Are we ready for some football? The answer, like so many things related to education during the pandemic, is not a simple yes or no. All but the largest Northeast Texas high schools will be able to begin practice for football and volleyball on Aug. 3, the University Interscholastic League announced today.

An illustration created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the structure of the coronavirus now named COVID-19.
NPR

Students, faculty and staff at all 11 Texas A&M System universities across the state will soon have quick and easy access to free testing for COVID-19.

 

“Ensuring the health and safety of our students is our top priority,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “Facilitating increased accessibility and availability of COVID-19 testing will help us mitigate the spread and help to protect each other by taking preventative and proactive measures.”

 

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.

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.

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

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.

http://www.huntcounty.net/

From the official website for Hunt County:

From: Hunt County Judge

Date:3/27/2020

Re: Second COVID-19 Positive Result in Hunt County

http://www.huntcounty.net/

The Hunt County Commisioner's Court has issued a disaster declaration for the county that details a shelter-in-place, or "stay at home" order. The order goes into effect Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and directs all non-essential employees and businesses to cease activity or stay at home except for essential activities and business. 

 Elaborating on the new Louisiana travel restrictions, Abbott said they will be enforced by the Texas Department of Public Safety "at and near entry points from Louisiana."
Eddie Gaspar / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued an executive order that will close many Texas restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses this weekend, as governments across the U.S. move to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The order takes effect at 12 a.m. Saturday morning and continues through April 3, Abbott said in a briefing from the Texas Capitol.

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Safety Office is asking students, faculty and staff returning from international travel on or after March 14 through specific airports to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Domestic travelers returning home, even through the same airports, are not being asked to quarantine at this time.

The text of the message follows:

Northeast Texas Coronavirus Cases: County Data

Mar 12, 2020
Information regarding the number of COVID-19 cases in Northeast Texas will be updated throughout the crisis.
Shutterstock

UPDATE: Texas A&M University-Commerce has transitioned to online instruction "until further notice" as of March 12, 2020.

Previous story: Texas A&M University-Commerce president Mark Rudin shared an update Tuesday regarding the institution's plan of action should any student on the Commerce campus contract the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.