On Wednesday, March 18 2020, Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell signed a Declaration of Local Disaster Due to the public health emergency from COVID-19.
Miller County, Ark. and the city of Texarkana, Texas also issued disaster declarations.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has confirmed one positive case of COVID-19 in Bowie County. According to the DSHS, Texas now has 83 active cases state wide and 2 deaths. Citing HIPAA and privacy concerns local officials will not provide any details about the local case.
The declaration allows local governmental entities within the counties to access additional state and federal resources needed to responded to the Coronavirus. It allows those entities to seek potential reimbursement for the cost of activities associated with responding to the pandemic.
According to Judge Howell, “we are addressing this national health pandemic in a cautious, but responsible manner, using common sense and critical thought to address the issues at hand. We want to urge our residents to stay calm and avoid public panic. I acknowledge that each time I have to issues a restriction I am creating barriers to our economy and creating hardships for businesses. I do not wish to impeded personal freedoms, but am taking only the actions absolutely necessary. Right now, the best thing we can all do is stay informed, use common sense, and show respect toward one another in our daily interactions and decisions.”