TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The uptick of new cases of COVID-19 is not coming just from the traditional hot spots such meatpacking plants, jails, and nursing homes, according to NET Health.
In a Facebook post, the Northeast Texas Public Health District said its contact tracing activities have identified new cases related to such normal aspects of daily life as parties, fitness sessions, retail outlets, and funerals.
“I can’t necessarily say I’m surprised,” George Roberts, NET Health CEO, said in the post. “Public Health knows that the virus is still out there but because things are opening up, there’s the misconception that maybe the coronavirus has gone away.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was recently interviewed by CNN and he referred to a COVID-19 study performed by a team of five researchers from Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, the University of California, San Diego, and the California Institute of Technology.
The conclusion of the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is that social distancing by itself was not enough to control the spread, but that wearing face masks while in public corresponded to the most effective means to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
The inexpensive practice of wearing face masks, combined with social distancing, quarantine of sick individuals, and contact tracing, are the most successful tactics to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, NET Health said on Facebook.
NET Health provides disease surveillance within Smith, Gregg, Wood, Rains, Van Zandt, Henderson, and Anderson Counties.
As of Friday, the district had confirmed 835 cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths from the virus in those seven counties.