WF officials emphasize severity of COVID-19, social distancing

WF officials emphasize severity of COVID-19, social distancing

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 18, Wichita County has tested over 818 people, and 38 people have tested positive for the virus.

Despite the spike, government officials worry residents aren’t understanding the pandemic’s severity.

“I don’t think a lot of people get the seriousness of this," said Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom.

Wichita Falls mayor Stephen Santellana added that “changing the behavior of one person is tough, and changing the behavior of 105,000 people is really tough.”

For public health director Lou Kreidler, the proof is in the community spread cases.

“They are surprised they tested positive for COVID-19 because they can’t remember being around anyone at all. They’ve been to a lot of different locations and yet they’re positive for COVID-19,” Kreidler said, “so I think that really speaks to the ease of transmission from one person to another and the infectivity of this virus.”

“We don’t want to become a small version of New York or that Tri-State area where patients are waiting in hallways,” added Gossom.

Kreidler said all of the C-D-C guidelines help slow the spread of COVID-19.

However, all three officials said the one they’ve seen residents struggling with the most is social distancing.

“If they don’t practice social distancing then our community will continue to be at risk and it will lengthen the amount of time we have to have these personal restrictions in place,” said Kreidler.

“In the places where they’ve slowed down the trend of 10-percent growth a day of positives, it’s been where people have been practicing social distancing,” explained Gossom.

Santellana added that the city and county want people to stay home, stay safe and only go out for the necessities.

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