Covid19

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COVID-19 Update 8-17-2020 – Texarkana, Texas – Bowie/Cass

TEXARKANA, TX— Bowie County Emergency Operations Center reports a total of 825 positive COVID-19 cases, with 382 recoveries and 56 deaths. There are currently 387 active cases being traced in Bowie County. Cass County has a total 199 cases with 153 recovered and nine deaths.  Cass County currently has 37 active cases. The Bowie County/Texarkana, Texas Joint Operations Center is still conducting contact tracing on positive cases, so if you test positive for COVID-19, or are a healthcare provider that conducts COVID testing, please notify the Local Health Authority at (903) 255-5560. 

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Bowie County 8/17/2020Total Cases in Bowie County825Ages (Bowie County Cases)0-189119-2913530-3912040-4912550-5912060-699570-797880+ 61Gender (Bowie County Cases)Male 366Female 459              Deaths    56  

New data has been added to www.coronatxk.org, so please take a look for more information regarding COVID cases in Bowie County. 

Free COVID-19 testing has been extended for one more week at the Bowie-Texarkana Health Department at 902 W. 12th Street Texarkana, TX 75501 Monday through Saturday, August 10th-August 15th from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Register at gogettested.com or on-site. No symptoms required. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas Health & Wellness, Arkansas Total Care and Quest Diagnostics Team Up to Increase Access to COVID-19 Testing in Underserved Communities

1,000 COVID-19 test kits will be distributed each week to Federally Qualified Health Centers in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, AR: Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care announced today a collaboration with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, to increase access to real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) COVID-19 testing in critical areas of need in Arkansas. Through this collaboration, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will facilitate the distribution of approximately 1,000 Quest COVID-19 test kits each week to Community Health Centers of Arkansas.  The FQHCs will conduct testing as part of a broader initiative to test persons who are symptomatic and asymptomatic in our underserved communities. “I am delighted to hear of the partnership between Arkansas Health and Wellness (AHW), Arkansas Total Care and the Community Health Centers of Arkansas (CHCA) to increase our real-time testing capacity in Arkansas,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.  “This private sector partnership plays an important role in our effort to reach 60,000 tests per month. This initiative ensures Arkansans will have access to critical testing and assist us in moving forward to our goal of Phase 2 and beyond. Continue Reading →

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Yes, We Are Opening, But Should We Have Ever Closed?

Opinion: For the most part, there are two camps in the opening debate running across the United States.  One camp says, “Open.”  The other camp, maybe a little too obvious, says, “Don’t Open.”  The arguments each way can go on for hours.  Some say it’s too soon; others say it should have been done sooner or we should never have closed, and still, others say open now.  Let’s face it: there is no consistency, nobody knows the long term outcome one way or the other, and without businesses in operation, we will continue to spiral financially out of control. The Consistency Factor –Since the start of the pandemic, each Governor, mayor, county, or parish judge, and in some cases small-town groups have been in charge of deciding what gets shut down and what does not.  In some states, churches seemed to be the first target to shut down, but craft stores were left open.  In other states, sections of stores were closed off or hours were cut while in some states the entire store was wide open.  Many argued that there were more people at the local mega-sized shopping center than there would have been at the small-town church.  Orders ranged from no closure of churches, to complete closure with a ticket if anyone even set foot on church property.   This lack of consistency, and in some cases, extreme measures unseen in other parts of the country, caused many Americans to feel their rights were being trampled.  Let’s face it, trample our rights, and we Americans get upset.  The argument is sound – if Mississippi closes all churches, even parking lot meetings in cars, but Texas leaves all churches open, how is that fair?  Is COVID-19 transmission less in Texas than in Mississippi?  Even in the local area of Texarkana, one side of the border had a curfew, while the other side had a shelter in place.  Regardless of which measure you supported, the lack of consistency could be seen across the street.  

Without consistency, we cannot exalt the extreme hashtag of #AllInThisTogether because to be blunt…we are not, or at least we are not equally in this together.  Imagine if, during WWII, there had been no consistency in air raid responses in the United States.  What if one town decided when an air raid sounded, they would turn off their lights, but another city decided they would not?  Imagine if those towns were as close as Texarkana, Texas, and Arkansas.  What would have happened in Texarkana had an air raid been real, enemy planes flew over to bomb, and Texarkana, Texas had all lights on while Arkansas was dark?  We would have all suffered because of the lack of consistency.  The lack of consistency has undoubtedly hurt us in a period that we really needed to be “All In This Together.” 

The Nobody Knows Factor –The last major pandemic to have such a sweeping impact on the United States ended in December of 1920.  The Spanish Flu spread and dominated the world from roughly January of 1918 through 1919.  It was still be tracked in places as late as the December 1920 date, which causes debate still as to how long it lasted.  Regardless of how long it lasted, those people that dealt with that pandemic from a government point-of-view are long gone.  Our current generation has no idea what the long-term outcome is going to be for COVID-19.  We could have a vaccine and pull out in a month, or it could be years of COVID-19 sparking up in areas around the world.   We do not know if opening today makes a difference or if opening up six months from now would make a difference.  We do not know if closing made much of a difference at this point, although numbers do seem to be rising since the opening phases started.  Overall though, we will not know the outcome of opening up right now until years from now.  We will study history and science behind this pandemic, and at some point, likely many years from now, there will be a verdict on the actions we take today.  That future review will indicate that we either made the right choices or the wrong choices.  Hopefully, that information will be used should there be a future pandemic.  Whatever the outcome is, we will have 20/20 hindsight vision, and right now, we have no idea what that 20/20 vision is going to show us. The Without Business Factor- Business makes the world go around.  It always has, and it likely will always make our societies function and thrive.  Without business, no money is made.  Without money, at least for our society now, nobody can pay for anything from food to shelter or utilities.  You don’t work, and you don’t pay the electric.  The electric company doesn’t get paid, and they cannot pay workers or keep plants running.  Those people at the plants do not get paid, and they cannot pay their bills.  So goes the cycle.  Also, in that vicious little cycle is a thing called taxes.  If you don’t work, you don’t pay taxes.  You do not pay taxes, and then the government does not have money.  While we may all marvel at the idea of not paying taxes, we must also accept the consequences of not paying taxes.  Without taxes, you have no educational money, Medicaid, Medicare, Police, Firemen, road repairs, new roads, military, state parks, federal parks, rules or regulations on utilities or limits on what they can charge, no city government, county government, state government, or U.S. government.  While some of that list may not worry many of us, the fact is while you’re not working, and the government has no income, it ultimately will not be able to pay your unemployment benefits.  So without business, failure sets in on a governmental level that will eventually affect all of us. It only takes a few minutes to scan the news, and you will find incidents of the government already suffering from a lack of tax revenue.  Naturally, elected officials made the hard and difficult decisions in many states.  They did not cut their salaries or benefits they felt are essential…no.  The first cuts announced were education – grants, loans, funding for schools, etc. – the next area was Medicaid – funding for healthcare for seniors, disabled people, poor, etc.  Please make no mistake, without business functioning, society as we know it will continue to break down.  Grocery prices will continue to soar, unemployment will continue to rise, and ultimately the government will continue to make cuts that will eventually affect you and me.  The business factor simply means we have to have the business open to move forward. Continue Reading →

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Pandemic Class of 2020

Opinion: Congratulations to all the seniors in the four states area as we move into the final days of classes and toward the eventual graduation dates.  As we look around the United States and the world, we all realize what a hardship this year has been.  It’s supposed to be your last year of high school when you make your final class rounds, finish out your required credits, laugh with friends and make memories, go to dances, ballgames, and…yes, most likely go to parties.  All those senior joys have been interrupted.  COVID-19 rushed into the final months of your senior year and crashed all the parties.  It crashed your proms, get-togethers, basketball games, baseball games, senior walks, trips, and has even pushed graduation and prom clear into July for many schools. 

As bad as it all sounds, there is a silver lining though!  Most of the school districts will have a prom and graduation.  They may have these traditional events pushed back to July, but they will have them.  You will dance with your sweetheart or prom date one last time as a high school student, you’ll laugh with your friends, and you’ll put that cap and gown on and walk across that stage on your final high school moments.  Things will be better. Ultimately, you are to be commended though and congratulated.  You have risen to your first challenge as young adults and met it head-on.  You met it strong, you met it with courage, and you met it by acting in the best interest of others.  You sheltered in place, or kept a low profile and out of public eye not for yourself, but for you family and friends.  You kept grandparents safe with your actions.  You kept parents safe with your actions and you kept your siblings safe with your actions.  By staying home, conducting classes from the kitchen counter, your bedroom, a computer room, and around the home, you acted in the interest of your fellow man.  You, and your classmates across the country have risen, grown, and faced a pandemic as one united front.  Like generations before that have sacrificed, you also sacrificed.  From cutbacks of time with your friends, to cutbacks in your high school part-time income, you have given.  Your actions have not gone unnoticed.  You have also not traveled these new roads alone.  From the districts of Texarkana to Atlanta to Shreveport and beyond, you have become one united class.  You are no longer Razorbacks, Bears, Titans, Tigers, Dragons, Pirates, Warriors, Rabbits, or any other mascot.  You are no longer tied simply to your small class in a small district or your large class in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, or beyond.  No, you are now tied to every class across the nation.  You are the Pandemic Class of 2020.  You have grown, matured, and given so that others would be safe and that makes you more than simply a high school student…that makes you an adult. 

When you do finally walk across that stage, remember you are not walking alone.  The eyes of the nation are upon you as the first united high school class.  You all faced the same threats, the same challenges, and the same crisis as one.  No, you are not simply a graduate of your school, you are a graduate of a new and brave generation.  Because of this unity, these ties, this connection you have across our country, you will never be the same.  A popular hashtag on social media sums it up best “#AllInThisTogether.” We look forward to seeing the great things the Pandemic Class of 2020 has yet to accomplish.  Congratulations and thank you for meeting this crisis with character and dignity that is becoming of the young adults you all are now. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana, Bowie, Cass COVID19 Update 5-11-2020

TEXARKANA, TX—Bowie County Emergency Operations Center reports a total of 107 positive COVID-19 cases, with 68 recoveries and 11 related deaths. Cass County has a total of 21 with 16 recovered. 

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Bowie County (as of 5/7/20)Total Cases in Bowie County107Ages (Bowie County Cases)0-19320-291530-392040-492450-591760-691670-791280+ 0Gender (Bowie County Cases)Male  51Female  56              Deaths  11  

The Business Survey to gauge Economic Impact is ongoing. All businesses in Bowie County are invited to submit a survey, to report positive or negative impacts to their business. The deadline is May 12, 2020 and the survey can be accessed at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeHFOIw9o16XOhE2_Ul4iKlW0K775q7zsWmjctRpovfhTWDzw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Residents in Bowie and Cass County are urged to continue following Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders and following CDC guidelines for social distancing, handwashing, and sanitizing. Governor Abbott announced last week effective May 18th gyms and exercise facilities will be able to reopen with 25% capacity. Continue Reading →

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Jobless Claims Break Records; Affects Families

Child Statistic of the Week Focuses on Water Safety Day, May 15

The way we all conduct business has changed due to COVID-19, with millions finding themselves without a stable income. Just last week, Oklahomans filed more than 68,000 jobless claims with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) during the week ending May 2. That is up more than 15,000 claims from the week before. On the week ending April 25, OESC made compensation payments to nearly 155,000 people according to the U.S. Department of Labor data. U.S. unemployment rate for April hit a staggering 14.7 percent, the highest rate since the Great Depression. Continue Reading →

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Drive-In Theaters Could Bring Back Movies During COVID-19

First Drive-In Theater in the United States from Wikipedia

Opinion: Drive-In Theaters could be our answer for movie cravings during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. In 1933, the first Drive-In Theater opened in the United States and started a long tradition that would not die off until the early 1990s. The concept was simple as you drove into a parking lot after paying an entry fee, selected your spot, and pulled the speaker into the car to watch the latest and greatest movie. Once the movie started, you viewed it on a giant screen and listened to your speaker as the action unfolded. When the movie was over, a somewhat orderly retreat out of the parking lot took you safely home with memories, popcorn in the seats, and often a joy-filled evening where you rarely left the confines of your car. Continue Reading →

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Online Tool Takes Comprehensive Look at COVID-19’s Toll on Texas

DALLAS, TX: Texas 2036 launched a comprehensive COVID-19 online dashboard that presents critical health and economic data in one easy-to-visualize format — both statewide and for all Texas counties currently reporting COVID-19 data — giving Texans a daily snapshot of how the pandemic is affecting Texans’ lives and livelihoods. Texas 2036 created the dashboard to distill the best available data into an easily understandable format for state leaders and the public. Texas 2036 consulted with medical experts at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin to spotlight the most important information about the pandemic. “Every decision in a crisis is critical, and the weight of those decisions highlights the importance of data. Toward that end, our team at Texas 2036 stepped forward to bring the best data possible into the conversation to help reopen the Texas economy safely and to monitor the health and economic impacts as we take incremental steps,” said Texas 2036 Founder Tom Luce. “With the cooperation of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas 2036’s data team produced this unique tool, which we will continue to improve and revise. Transparent, accessible tools like this dashboard will help guide understanding and action on the difficult choices and opportunities facing Texans as we fight this unpredictable, deadly virus.” Continue Reading →

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Evergreen Life Services’ HEAVENDROPt Shifts Vocational Focus to Mask

Evergreen Life Services, a regional care provider and employer for people with Intellectual Disabilities, shifts vocational operations to make face masks. Evergreen Life Services has been providing care, independent living opportunities, and vocational opportunities for people with Intellectual Disabilities since 1959. The organization is currently operating in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas Tennessee, and Kentucky (Evergreen Life Services). A part of the employment opportunities for people has been the HEAVENDROPt operation. Using retired parachute materials, the organization makes various products for sale. Continue Reading →

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Womack Statement on President Trump Signing Additional Relief into Law

Washington, DC: Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) released the following statement after President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law. The legislation—which Womack voted for on the House floor yesterday—replenishes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provides additional funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, and enhances resources to support hospitals and testing capacity:

“With today’s signing, more help is finally on its way. This bill replenishes a crucial lifeline for small businesses and workers in Arkansas, while also supporting hospitals and enhancing testing capacity. There is no doubt that these urgent needs should have been addressed sooner. Additionally, I am still concerned about other aspects of our economy–namely our farmers, ranchers, and the entire food supply chain. Continue Reading →

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