Coronavirus: live updates for the Big Bend region

UPDATED 11/27 11:06 a.m.

(11/24 4:27 p.m.)
In a news release on Tuesday, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara announced 42 new coronavirus cases in Presidio County, a spike she called “alarming.” It’s the biggest single-day spike in Presidio County since the pandemic began. EDIT: Some of the cases had been previously announced by state and local officials. The new cases come from across the county, with 29 in Presidio, 10 in Marfa, two in Redford and one in Shafter. In her news release, Judge Guevara pleaded with residents to “ALWAYS WEAR A MASK.”

(11/23 5:03 p.m.)
Over the past week, coronavirus hospitalizations have exceeded 15% of all hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area J, which covers the tri-county. According to state guidelines, that means the tri-county must now scale back reopening plans.

In a news release on Monday, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara said that public buildings in the area — including restaurants, stores and gyms — will have to revert to 50% capacity. Hospitals in the region, including the Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine, must once again postpone elective surgeries.

(11/17 6:56 p.m.)
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara on Friday announced another coronavirus death in Presidio County, a man in his 60s who lived in Presidio and died on Sunday. By the county’s count, this would be the sixth coronavirus death in Presidio County. However, the Texas Department of State Health Services has been reporting seven deaths in Presidio County since September, indicating that this is likely the eighth local death.

(11/16 5:22 p.m.)
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara on Monday announced more coronavirus testing sites in the region. Those sites are:

  • Fort Davis: Monday, November 23, Fort Davis Fire Station at 200 Court Avenue
  • Van Horn: Tuesday, November 24, Van Horn Fire-Med Services at 508 E Broadway

As always, the testing sites will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. or until capacity is reached. Personal ID and appointments aren’t required.


The latest testing data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and Sul Ross State University:

Location

Total cases

Active

Recovered

Deaths

Presidio County

348 160

181

7

Brewster County

482 199

277

6

Jeff Davis County

48 24 24

0

Sul Ross State University

312 23

289

0

*Sul Ross and Brewster data may share some overlap but officials are unable to provide definitive delineations between the data at this time. Not all Sul Ross cases are being counted in Brewster County because of students providing permanent addresses rather than school addresses.

At least 21,156 Texans have died from the virus, 1,143,616 have tested positive for COVID-19 and around 10.38 million tests have been conducted across the state.

Nearby counties’ case counts:
El Paso: 83,993
Hudspeth: 179
Culberson: 186
Reeves: 514
Pecos: 735
Terrell: 15
Crane: 164
Ector: 5,150
Midland: 7,276


From the Governor: Texans are expected to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity, building or space open to the public, and in outdoor spaces where maintaining 6 feet of distance from others is not possible.


Here’s what else we know. You can also use the links below to skip to the relevant section:

Testing

Information from local, state and federal authorities

Schools, businesses, churches and non-governmental institutions

Precautions and staying safe


TESTING

Upcoming Test Dates

  • Alpine: Sunday, November 22, Alpine Fire Station at 102 South Street
  • Fort Davis: Monday, November 23, Fort Davis Fire Station at 200 Court Avenue
  • Van Horn: Tuesday, November 24, Van Horn Fire-Med Services at 508 E Broadway

INFORMATION FROM LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL AUTHORITIES
Local

State

Federal


SCHOOLS, BUSINESSES, CHURCHES AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTIONS

(11/15 4:03 p.m.)
Today, Marfa ISD Superintendent Oscar Aguero announced via an email to students, staff and parents that Marfa schools will go remote-only through November 20 and resume in-person on Monday, November 30 after the Thanksgiving holiday. Aguero cited the current positive COVID-19 cases, the testing positivity percentage and the requirement for “many students and staff members to quarantine” as reasons for the closure.

(11/12 10:44 a.m.)
Citing “our current positive COVID-19 cases, the testing positivity percentage and the requirement for many students and staff members to quarantine,” Alpine ISD has announced that they will switch back to all-virtual learning from today, Thursday, November 12, until after Thanksgiving, on Monday, November 30. Separately, Sul Ross State University today is reporting 32 new active cases on campus, including 25 new active cases among students and seven among staff and faculty.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marfa is live-streaming their 10 a.m. Sunday worship service on their Facebook page and is offering Zoom classes. Those who need errands run on their behalf can contact the church. The church itself is open 24 hours and is accepting food donations for the Marfa Food Pantry. Call Vicar Mike Wallens at 214-862-7292 or email stpaulsmarfatx@gmail.com.

Pastor Ernesto Zubia at Iglesia Cristiana Jesus es Rey church in Marfa is asking churchgoers to stay home if they don’t feel well.

In a statement, the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend said it will continue to provide resources to domestic-violence and assault survivors during the coronavirus crisis and asks that people please call ahead to make an appointment. The numbers for assistance and appointments are 432-837-7254 for Alpine, 432-229-4297 for Presidio and 432-371-3147 for Terlingua. The group’s emergency hotline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-834-8256.


PRECAUTIONS AND STAYING SAFE
Local health authorities are still advising that people keep six feet of “social distancing” between individuals who are not from the same household.

For individuals who worry they might have been exposed to coronavirus, health officials ask that people contact hospitals and doctors by phone rather than visiting in person. Health care providers will evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether individuals should come in for care. Preventative Care Health Services clinics have separate entrances for anyone suspected of having the virus.

Check our homepage for the latest in depth reporting on the virus and our local community.


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