TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Smith County joins the growing number of cities across the country dealing with coronavirus.
“We know the three cases had recent travel history outside the U.S., they are all under medical monitoring right now and one is seriously ill,” said George Roberts, CEO of NETHealth.
Due to privacy laws, we do not know the patients’ genders, ages, or what hospital in Tyler they visited.
In light of the new cases, the City of Tyler, along with public health officials, are continuing to prepare for any possibility of community spread, by encouraging residents to practice social distancing.
“It is not pandemic panic for you to isolate yourself or to reduce the amount of exposure in your community, it’s a wise decision and it quite frankly, is the only one left to us, once community transmission begins,” said Russell Hopkins with NETHealth.
Tyler area hospitals, like UT Health and Christus Health say they are confident when it comes to their coronavirus plans.
“Whether it’s having to do with influenza, simple coughs and colds, infection prevention is something that’s standard practice for us and COVID-19 does not change that,” said Dr. Mark Anderson with Christus.
“We’ve been monitoring and planning for these events for a number of weeks and months, we have isolation areas and protective areas for our patients to keep them safe as well as to keep our staff safe,” said Dr. Tom Cummins with UT Health.
“If we see signs and symptoms, you may see our people come in with protective equipment on, they’ll be wearing a mask and a gown, they may ask you to put on a surgical mask,” said John Smith with UT Health EMS. “This is out of an abundance of caution.”
An abundance of caution in a time of nationwide concern.