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Continued COVID rise prompts pleas from area hospitals

Staff reports
Moderna is gearing up to make more of its coronavirus vaccine in 2021.

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Grayson County, prompting area hospitals to make a rare joint public plea.  Between Dec. 30 and Jan. 5, there were an additional 772 cases in the county.  An additional 21 people also died from the virus over the same time period, bringing the county’s total to 190 over the course of the pandemic.

In a Dec. 31 press release signed by seven Texoma area hospitals, health officials pleaded with the public to do their part to slow the spread of the virus.

“We want the communities we serve to know that we’re here for you, but we ask that you be here for us now,” the statement read.  “We make your health our top priority. Now we are asking that you make the health of the whole community your priority as well.  Until the vaccine is available to you, help us stop the spread of COVID-19 and give our frontline workers some much-needed relief, so we can properly take care of you should you have a medical emergency.”

On Tuesday, the Grayson County Health Department announced that it has only received 400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and all of them had already been allocated.  The Health Department recommended that residents look to obtain the vaccine from either their primary care physician or retail pharmacy and not wait for it to become available through the county health department. Those officials also encouraged people to continue checking with the Texas Department of State Health Service website for distribution points through the county.

Currently, the vaccine is only available for those in the priority categories.  his includes first responders,  medical professionals, long-term care residents, seniors over 65, and people with at least one chronic medical condition.

As of Tuesday, there were 32 active cases in Van Alstyne, a slight increase from the same day last week. Howe reported 20 cases, up from the 12 reported the previous Tuesday.

County-wide, there were 490 cases as of Jan. 6, 182 more than the previous week.  Sherman and Denison continued to see the most cases, with 218 and 93 cases respectively. They were trailed by Whitesboro with 36 and then Van Alstyne. Pottsboro had 16 cases, Collinsville had 15, Bells had 14 and Gunter 12. Other Grayson County cities reporting active cases included Whitewright (9), Sadler (8), Tioga (6), Tom Bean (4), Knollwood (4) and Gordonville (3).

More than 28,000 Texas have died from COVID-19.  There are currently over 314,000 active cases across the state.