TEXARKANA, TX- The Bowie County/ City of Texarkana, TX Emergency Operations Center will be expanded to include Miller County and the City of Texarkana, Arkansas this afternoon. This joint operations center will allow officials and authorities to collaborate, share information and make decisions together.
A public website has been launched and will be update with resources, information and local closures and cancellations. Visit http://www.coronatxk.org/ to learn more.
As the Texarkana region deals with its first positive case of COVID-19, residents are reminded to make responsibility for their health.
Mayor of Texarkana, Texas Bob Bruggeman asks for residents’ help to manage the health crisis.
“We need each resident to evaluate their own health,” Bruggeman said. “There may not be an official order or mandate to stay at home yet, but it’s very important that we adhere to the CDC guidelines, which include avoiding public gatherings of 50 or more, use social distancing and wash hands often and thoroughly. It is absolutely imperative that we are self-aware and cautious. The only way we can slow down this virus is if we are hyper vigilant.”
Dr. Matt Young, the Bowie County Local Health Authority, clarifies testing issues the county is facing.
“The testing kits have not been made readily available to our region like some of the larger cities,” Dr. Young said. “Local healthcare facilities are taking swabs and sending them off for testing, but only if a patient is identified as needing testing. If you have symptoms, or suspect you’ve had contact with someone who has COVID-19, please call the Texas Department of Health hotline at (877) 570-9799/ Arkansas Department of Health hotline at (800) 803-7847 or call your primary care provider.”
“If you’re walking well and think you have the virus, please quarantine yourself at home. If your symptoms are being managed with over the counter medication, stay at home and take care of yourself,” Dr. Young said. “If your symptoms escalate and you’re not able to take care of yourself, call your Primary Care Provider, or local healthcare facility. Let them know you’re coming, so they can give you further directions.”
Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell urges business owners to make their own decisions about closing and/or altering operations.
“We urge local residents to keep supporting our businesses,” Howell said. “Go through drive-thru’s, order take out, pick up the phone and keep patronizing our local businesses. Each of them need to make their own decisions about how to operate during this time, but we’re asking everyone to keep thinking about the community as a whole and treat this situation as a serious public health issue.”
The Joint Operations Center is collecting information about possible cases in the region. Local healthcare providers should call (903) 255-3560 to report possible cases, tests administered, and quarantined patients.
Local businesses that may have been impacted financially by this crisis should visit https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.
The Joint Operations Center will operate Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The public telephone number is (903) 255-5560.