COVID ROUNDUP: Governor tests positive, plus local updates
The current guidance concerning the COVID-19 vaccine is for eligible individuals to get it to prevent hospitalization or becoming seriously ill from the virus.
Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been both a staunch proponent of the vaccine and vehemently against allowing local mask mandates since the vaccine became widely available earlier this year, reportedly tested positive for the disease on Tuesday but was reported to be feeling fine despite the test result.
Abbott, who was vaccinated on television soon after the vaccine received emergency authorization from the FDA, is said to be experiencing no symptoms and learned of his illness because of a daily testing ritual, according to the governor’s spokesperson, but will still receive the antibody treatment administered to former President Donald Trump when he fell ill with the virus last fall.
“Governor Greg Abbott today tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” read the written statement from communications director Mark Miner. “The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result. Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, agency heads, and government officials to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently.
“The Governor will isolate in the Governor’s Mansion and continue to test daily. Governor Abbott is receiving Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment. Governor Abbott is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms.”
Masks urged in City of Lockhart public buildings
Mayor Lew White on Tuesday said signage would be placed in view at City Hall and other municipal buildings requesting citizens to mask up prior to entering.
Masking will not be mandatory but will be encouraged, White explained.
As of press time Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services estimates there are 471 active COVID-19 cases in Caldwell County. Since the pandemic began, there have been 108 confirmed deaths.
“The governor has taken away all of our ability to enforce mask wearing, but it doesn’t take away the need for people to wear a mask,” White said. “I’m still concerned about case numbers in Caldwell County. Please keep your head down, wear a mask, and be mindful when gathering indoors.”
Judge: Free testing, shots provide boost
The Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management and the Texas Military Forces will continue hosting a combination COVID-19 vaccination site and testing site through at least Sept. 7.
The limited-time event is in tents at the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management’s back parking lot, located at 1403 Blackjack Street.
Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden said the clinics appeared to be helping with both the improvement of the local vaccination rate and with helping paint a clearer picture of positive cases in the area.
“It’s encouraging,” he said. “We’ve had about 100-125 people come through to get either their first dose or second dose. We’ve had between 150 and 170 people tested, and of that, 25 or 30 have been positive.
“It has varied on a daily basis how many people who have come to the site have been from Caldwell County.”
The vaccination rate of the eligible population in Caldwell County has again increased from the previous week.
At press time Tuesday, 57.36% (+2.02%) of Caldwell County residents ages 12 and up have had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 45.77% (+.97%) are fully vaccinated.
Statewide, the vaccination rate for fully vaccinated folks ages 12 and up is 54.6%.
“I am proud of what our people are doing to help,” Haden said.
Vaccines and Nasal PCR tests are being administered from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, seven days a week.