Liberty County Judge Jay Knight is asking residents to “tighten up” a little bit to avoid any further spread of Coronavirus, which can lead to COVID-19 disease.
During a video update on the County’s efforts to combat Coronavirus on Wednesday, Knight said, “Now is not the time to get complacent. Let’s tighten up and get this over with.” He was referring to the “stay home, stay safe” that was put in place through an executive order on March 24.
In Liberty County, 159 people have been tested for Coronavirus with 14 testing positive as of Wednesday, 109 testing negative and 36 tests still pending. Only one of the persons who tested positive is currently isolated at the hospital. The rest are either recuperating at home or have recovered.
Knight said that in discussions with the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is coordinating with local cities and counties, he asked why Liberty County appears to be faring better than some counties. Officials believe Liberty County’s earliest cases were travel-related, meaning that people caught the infection elsewhere. Since that time, more community-spread cases have emerged.
“We’re fixing to have to do some tightening up,” he said.
Based on current projections, Liberty County’s coronavirus cases is expected to peak around April 20, but Knight warned that it might go for another three weeks or drop rapidly.
“It’s going to depend on how the people in the community react to what social distancing is,” he said, adding that now is not the time to travel outside the county unless it is work-related and essential.
“Those of you who think you need to go to Houston, don’t go if you don’t have to. If you are working there, you are going to take your precautions and your chances,” he said.
Matt Thornton, the CEO for Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, joined Knight during the video update to discuss the importance of wearing masks.
“The masks are not only designed to protect the person wearing it. It’s about source control. It’s going to knock down the bulk of those droplets spreading [Coronavirus],” he said.
Covering the nose and mouth will greatly decrease the amount of virus that is spread from one person to another, even people who are asymptomatic, meaning they are not showing any signs of having the illness.
Thornton said the masks should be cleaned daily.
“Treat them like they are underwear. Once they are worn, wash them,” he said. “We are encouraging everyone to wear some sort of facial covering.”
His tip for social distancing, which involves keeping at least a six-foot space between yourself and others in public places, is to assume that everyone has Coronavirus, including yourself.