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Local COVID-19 cases skyrocket

By Joshua Baethge
Van Alstyne Leader

The past week has seen the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in Grayson County since the Office of Emergency Management began providing statistics on the virus in April. On Sunday cases had spiked to 659 in the county. In Van Alstyne, the number of actives cases jumped to 40, four times more than the number reported at the beginning of the month.

By Tuesday night, the Grayson County number has dropped to 548, an improvement but still over 100 more than the 462 active cases reported the previous Tuesday. Sherman once again leads the county with 235 active case cases.  That’s 47 more cases than had been reported the previous Tuesday.  Denison was next in the county with 128, followed by Van Alstyne with 38.

Howe had the fourth most cases in the county with 26.  It was followed by Pottsboro with 25, Whitesboro with 16, Gunter with 15, Bells with 14, and 13 cases each for Gordonville and Whitewright.  Other Grayson County cities reporting active cases included Collinsville (8), Sadler (8), Knollwood (5), Tom Bean (3) and Tioga (1).

Total ICU occupancy in the county was still at 100 percent, with total hospital occupancy at 92.5 percent.

Across the state, there were now well over 275,650 active cases and more than 25,606 fatalities. Despite the surge in coronavirus cases, Governor Greg Abbot said earlier this week there would not be any additional statewide shutdowns.  He received the new COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 22, saying we would never ask a Texas to do something he was not willing to do himself. However, it could be months before the vaccine is available to the general public.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that adults ages 75 and older as well as “frontline essential workers,” including first responders, be given the next priority for the vaccine. Following them would be adults between the ages of 65-74, other adults with high-risk medical conditions and additional essential workers.  It could very well be months before the general public has access to the vaccine.