$1 for 3 months
$1 for 3 months

CDC officials urge caution as COVID-19 numbers decline

By Joshua Baethge
For the Van Alstyne Leader
A line of cars waits at the Grayson County Health Department for the free COVID-19 testing that started there on Sept. 7. The drive through testing moved to the Midway Mall parking lot and continues to be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

After soaring to new highs in December and early January, the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management has started reporting significantly lower numbers of COVID-19.  While this is very encouraging news, health officials are not sure if these numbers are the start of a long-term trend. 

According to a Jan. 22 update from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of tests coming back positive decreased from 14.7 percent to 11.9 percent over the first two weeks of the year.  The total number of illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths remains elevated but decreasing across the country. CDC officials advise that these numbers should be interpreted with caution as reporting delays have increased due to both the recent holidays and the rise in cases. They have also expressed concerns that new variants of the virus could offset the progress made

After reporting more than 50 active cases on Jan. 13, the number of active cases in Van Alstyne has dropped back under 30 as of Jan. 22.  The number of cases also dropped to single digits in Howe.

Grayson County officials continue to advise that vaccinations will be administered by appointment only. They are currently available to those who fall within categories 1A and 1B of the DSHS vaccination priority designations.  That includes healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, first responders, people over 65 years old and those with chronic medical conditions that put them at greater risk for the virus. Those looking to get on the vaccine waiting list are advised to visit the county website.

Covid-19 update

As of Monday, the county had been allocated 19,200 doses of the vaccine over the past month. Nearly two-thirds of that had been allocated to Texoma Medical Center in Denison.  The rest was split among nine other locations in Sherman and Denison as well as one pharmacy in Pottsboro.