Nacogdoches confirms 5 more cases, explains growth in county

by JESS HUFF/The Lufkin Daily News Apr 16, 2020

Nacogdoches officials confirmed an additional five cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing that total to 72 people infected or recovering from the virus.

Nacogdoches County has been tracking positive cases since March 25, the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a press release. And the county has learned that the cases are coming from a variety of sources in the region.

“We did not always get streamlined data from DSHS from the onset of this pandemic, but we're thankful to have recently received confirmation from our official source regarding clusters of cases in Nacogdoches County,” Abby Scorsonelli, a public information officer for Nacogdoches, said in an email update.

Cases have primarily come from a few main categories, according to DSHS:

* Community acquired with no identifiable exposure or travel history

* Close contact with confirmed cases

* Health care workers

* Patients and employees from two different long-term care facilities (The majority of deaths have been in residents of long-term care facilities.)

* Employees of businesses that provide essential services or goods that have remained open

* Persons who have previously attended gatherings such as religious meetings

“Please understand there is a great deal of work going into keeping this community safe,” Scorsonelli said. “Our health care partners, elected officials, emergency management personnel, and city/county staff are dedicated to ensuring the community perseveres through this situation.”

The state and county are coordinating with hospitals, long-term care facilities, emergency management, regional acute care organizations and the Texas Department of Emergency Management to respond to COVID-19 in the county, the release stated.