As had been anticipated, Christmas and New Year’s holiday gatherings and increased travel have accelerated the COVID case rate as 2021 begins. Rural America saw record numbers of new coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths in the first week of the year, according to The Daily Yonder (dailyyonder.com), and Hemphill County Hospital officials reported a surge in new cases here, as well.
Rural counties saw a 35 percent increase in COVID-19 infections last week, according to The Yonder report, when numerous states fell behind in daily coronavirus reports because of the holidays. Previous rural records for both new infections and deaths were set in December, before the holidays resulted in irregular reports on testing and deaths.
The Hemphill County Hospital lab department reported 42 new COVID-positive tests in-county and 23 new out-of-county positives during the last week. On Monday, the number of active cases in Hemphill County totaled 114, but had dropped to 83 by midweek.
Since classes resumed after the Christmas break, Canadian ISD has reported 18 new COVID-19 cases from Jan. 5-13. This Monday, Superintendent Lynn Pulliam received notice of seven new confirmed positives, bringing total documented CISD cases since the virus first struck to 133.
There was good news. COVID-related admissions at HCH dropped to only one— down from four at the end of last week. There were no positives reported at either the Edward Abraham Nursing Home or Mesa View Assisted Living in the latest round of tests conducted yesterday, Jan. 13, and no active cases among staff or residents of either residence.
HCH CEO Christy Francis said the Canadian Family Physicians Clinic was administering its last 40 doses of vaccines on Tuesday. Nearly 500 additional residents have added their names to a waiting list through the hospital’s vaccine hotline. The list, she said, will be screened according to CDC guidelines, and additional vaccine clinics will be scheduled when more doses are received. “We have not seen or heard that we are receiving any this week,” she said. “We are hoping for next week.”
In other good news, unrelated to COVID, residents of EANH are eagerly anticipating a Thursday move into their new digs, at Mesa View Senior Living. Watch for photos in next week’s Canadian Record.