TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Bowie County and the City of Texarkana, Tx Emergency Operations Center will be expanded to include Miller County and the City of Texarkana, Ark as of Tuesday afternoon.
The joint operations center is collecting information about possible cases in the region.
According to the press release, Bob Bruggeman, Mayor of Texarkana, Texas is asking all residents for help to manage the current health crisis.
“We need each resident to evaluate their own health,” said Bruggeman.
“There may not be an official order or mandate to stay at home yet, but it’s very important that we adhere to the CDC guidelines, which include avoiding public gatherings of 50 or more, use social distancing and wash hands often and thoroughly. It is absolutely imperative that we are self-aware and cautious. The only way we can slow down this virus is if we are hyper-vigilant,” said Bruggeman in the release.
Dr. Matt Young, the Bowie County Local Health Authority, clarifies testing issues the county is facing.
“The testing kits have not been made readily available to our region like some of the larger cities,” Dr. Young said. “Local healthcare facilities are taking swabs and sending them off for testing, but only if a patient is identified as needing testing. If you have symptoms, or suspect you’ve had contact with someone who has COVID-19, please call the Texas Department of Health Hotline at (877) 570-9799 or Arkansas Department of Health Hotline at (800) 803-7847 or call your primary care provider.”
Dr. Young says if you are walking well and think you have the virus to quarantine yourself at home. He says if your symptoms are being managed with over the counter medication, stay at home and take care of yourself.
“If your symptoms escalate and you’re not able to take care of yourself, call your Primary Care Provider, or local healthcare facility. Let them know you’re coming, so they can give you further directions,” said Dr. Young in the release.
According to the release, Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell, wants local residents to keep supporting local businesses.
Judge Howell said it is up to business owners to make their own decisions about closing or altering hours of operation during this time.
“Go through drive-thru’s, order take out, pick up the phone and keep patronizing our local businesses. Each of them need to make their own decisions about how to operate during this time, but we’re asking everyone to keep thinking about the community as a whole and treat this situation as a serious public health issue,” said Judge Howell.
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