Commissioners court gets update on rising COVID numbers

steve Nash / Brownwood Bulletin
covid graphic

As the number of Brown County COVID cases in Brown County continues to rise, Brownwood/Brown County Health Administrator Lisa Dick updated the commissioners court Monday, and County Judge Paul Lilly said he and the the city’s mayors will be meeting Friday or Monday about COVID.

Dick said there were 224 active cases as of Monday morning, an increase of 70 from a week ago. In mid-October, there were 78 active cases, Dick said.

She also noted the 36th COVID death reported last week, saying the person who died was a male in his 60s.

Later Monday, the health department received 52 positive COVID test results, 58 negatives and 27 recoveries, with 13 hospitalized in Brown County.

Dick also updated the court on reports of a vaccine, noting that a vaccine made by a company called Moderna has shown to be 94 percent effective.

The CDC will develop a priority list for distributing the vaccine when it is ready, and states will have some decision-making abilities, Dick said.

“I’ve seen a couple of different models,” Dick said of potential priorities. She said she thinks first responders and health care workers will be the first group to receive the vaccine.

Commissioner Joel Kelton said he’s heard that people under 18 will not be offered the vaccine. 

“As time goes on and more studies are completed, I think it will go to the younger age group,” Dick said.

She said while patients who are older and have underlying health conditions are more likely to be hospitalized, “wee have had surprises where we had younger people that seemed to be healthier that still ended up much sicker.”

Dick noted that Thanksgiving is coming up. “I know that is a time that most of us look forward to and enjoy with our families,” Dick said. “I want to encourage everyone to make that a safe time.”

Dick said while it is suggested that Thanksgiving celebrations be held only among people in the same household, she said she knows that’s not going to happen.

“if you are going to have a gathering, please limit the time you are going to spend together.” Having the event outdoors would be beneficial, but if that’s not possible, Dick suggested keeping windows open and urged people to wear masks, observe social distancing and wash hands frequently.

“We just don’t want to have an uptick” from Thanksgiving celebrations, Dick said.