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County ceasing daily COVID-19 updates

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Grimes County Emergency Management coordinator David Lilly announced via Facebook, Monday, June 1, the County will cease the daily COVID-19 press releases and ZIP code maps but will continue to post updates periodically if significant changes in case numbers are reported.

Lilly cited the change in reporting is to “avoid any further confusion about COVID-19 case numbers.” In the press release Lilly stated Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are reporting numbers that are much higher than what Grimes County has been reporting. “We have been reporting the number and location of cases that have been confirmed to us by DSHS which are sent to us daily,” said Lilly. “The confirmation process tends to lag behind what they post on their dashboard.”

Lilly said every confirmed case first goes through an investigation by DSHS with contact tracing to determine the possible extent of exposure. “Such investigations take time and contributes to the delay in providing more realistic numbers to the public,” stated Lilly.

In a conversation with The Examiner Tuesday, June 2, Lilly said the current numbers Grimes County has received are 217 total cases of COVID-19 with 199 active cases. Those numbers also include TD-CJ. Lilly stated to date 540 tests have been administered in Grimes County. “Included in those tests are testing at our long-term healthcare facilities, TD-CJ, mobile testing sites and individual testing that has occurred outside the county but are Grimes County residents,” explained Lilly. As of Tuesday, June 2, DSHS lists 15 recoveries in Grimes County and one confirmed death.

“From what I can see Grimes County has been doing it right,” said Lilly. “In Grimes County at large our numbers are actually quite low compared to our neighbors. I am very proud of the citizens of the county because I know there are people out there who think it’s a hoax or no big deal and believe it’s just like the flu and they go around without masks. But for the most part if that were happening in mass, we would see a spike in numbers, and we haven’t seen that yet. From what I can see, and the Judge and commissioners can see, the citizens are doing this right in Grimes County.”

Lilly said the County is looking at potentially releasing weekly updates on Mondays, however that has not been finalized. In the meantime, he suggests checking the DSHS and TDCJ websites for COVID-19 cases in the county.

COVID-19 numbers reported by TDCJ (as of Tuesday, June 2)

TDCJ is reporting 177 active offender cases at the Wallace Pack Unit in Grimes County. There are currently nine active employee cases within the facility. Eight offenders have recovered at the Pack Unit and four employees have recovered. Three offenders from Pack Unit have died with COVID-19 related symptoms but full autopsy results have not been released.

The Pack Unit is currently on lockdown and has 619 offenders in medical restriction and 210 offenders in medical isolation.

The O.L. Luther Unit in Grimes County hasn’t had any reported cases of COVID-19. Currently two offenders are in medical isolation.

For the latest COVID-19 information in Grimes County, see the special COVID-19 tab on The Examiner website, www.navasotaexaminer.com.