Presidio County judge updates county on local precautions, response efforts

PRESIDIO COUNTY — Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara briefed county staff on the latest precautions and plans for coronavirus at a Friday morning meeting, instituting new efforts to avoid the introduction of coronavirus to the Big Bend Area area.

— The county instructed staff to stay home if they feel ill. Guevara advised staff to only hold essential meetings. Judges David Beebe and Juanita Bishop will conduct all magisterial duties via teleconference at this time, until further notice.

— The county requested residents minimize their visits to the courthouse, instead doing business over the phone, or using hand sanitizer available in the lobby if they must visit the courthouse. They are also closing the side entrances of the building until further notice. The main entrance and handicapped entrance will remain open.

— “As far as all of our operations, the city will remain open,” Mayor Manny Baeza said at the county meeting. However, the library will close Monday through Friday for sanitization, and reopen the following week. Meals on wheels will be delivery only, as previously reported.

— Presidio County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers have been instructed to screen 911 calls to detect coronavirus symptoms such as a dry cough and fever, according to EMS Director Burt Lagarde. He also addressed hospital capacity. “The very critical patients are going to have to be put on a ventilator, and they only have two at the hospital,” he said. “So those affected will probably be sent to El Paso where they have more equipment.”

— Presidio 4H club will not cancel their meeting and are scheduled to attend competition in Fort Stockton today and tomorrow, according to county extension agent Matlin Sain.

— County Health Authority Dr. John Paul Schwartz is receiving daily updates from the Center for Disease Control, and told Guevara that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Marfa as of Friday morning.

If you are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus or flu, please stay home and call your physician, who can advise for next steps.