Cumulative positive COVID-19 testing results as of Friday total 2,091, Johnson County Emergency Management Director Jamie Moore said. Of that number, 1,902 have since been released.
Although positive cases continue to accrue the numbers appear to be trending down, Moore added. From July 1 to now numbers have run fairly flat when taking into account the cumulative, active and released cases, Moore said.
“Roughly from July 18, with a few peaks, we’ve been running at about 200 or less active cases per day.”
Commissioner Larry Woolley called the apparent trend good news.
“That puts us at an 87.3 percent release rate,” Woolley said.
Moore said that several school districts have encountered positive COVID-19 cases. Those cases have to be reported by law. Moore said his office is working with the county’s various ISDs to streamline that process and avoid instances of double reporting.
Cleburne’s free testing site, Moore said, will close on Aug. 28 there being more testing options available now than when the site opened five months ago.
“[Cleburne Fire Chief Scott Lail] that they have the ability to reopen should cases spike again,” Moore said. “We also can bring back the state-run testing sites if needed but, at this point, I don’t think we’ll need to.”
County Judge Roger Harmon noted that Collin County has ceased reporting case numbers out of loss of confidence with state reporting numbers.
Moore added that the address of one person who tested positive in Johnson County was listed at Route 7, an address system that hasn’t been used in decades and that at least one person at a Godley testing site submitted their information but grew tired of waiting in line and left before being tested. That person, Moore said, later received a letter stating they were positive.
“I don’t think that’s the norm but mistakes happen,” Moore said. “The frustrating thing is that, after five months, you’d think the state’s system would’ve improved. But all we can do locally is focus on and report on the information we have.”
Grant checks for qualifying businesses within unincorporated county areas should be ready to approve soon, commissioners said. Funds for the grants, up to $5,000 per qualifying businesses, derive from CARES ACT funding, federal dollars to reimburse counties and cities for COVID-19-related costs. Commissioner Jerry Stringer suggested the grant program to assist struggling county businesses that may otherwise go under.
Johnson County Economic Development Director Diana Miller will bring a list of qualifying applicants to the next court meeting for commissioner’s approval.
“We want to move forward with these grants,” Stringer said. “These people have been waiting a long time.”
Woolley suggested holding a called meeting next week to address the issue so that applicants don’t have to wait a full two weeks. Harmon and the other commissioners agreed.
Harmon, at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, proclaimed September as Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month in Johnson County. Harmon urged men to educate themselves on the disease and get checked out.
“Education and early detection strategies are critical to saving lives,” Harmon said.
The disease accounts for 20 percent of male cancer diagnoses and 10 percent of male cancer deaths, Harmon said. It is the second most prevalent form of cancer in men behind skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men behind lung cancer. High-risk groups include African Americans, firefighters and men exposed to Agent Orange.
Michael Butler, a 19-year cancer survivor, said the chances of adult males contracting the disease are about one in nine.
“Everyone needs to get educated and learn the risk levels,” Butler said.