TX county judges note COVID-19 risk to public remains low, still possible virus can spread

2019 Novel Coronavirus (first detected in Wuhan, China) illustration provided by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on texture, partial graphic. (AP Images)

County judges from six of the most populated urban Texas counties, including Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, have released a joint statement about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

According to the statement, each of the counties' governments continues to work closely with local municipalities and other community stakeholders within their boundaries and regions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "As providers of public health throughout our counties, our local health officials are closely monitoring the evolving situation. We are coordinating with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and regional public health and healthcare agencies," the statement noted. 


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The judges note that the overall risk of COVID-19 remains low to the general public, but even with vigilant efforts to control the disease, there still remains the possibility that the virus can spread. 

The statement released steps that the public can take in order to prevent respiratory viruses like COVID-19: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

"Health officials are urging people to stay at home if you experience mild flu-like symptoms and visit your primary care provider. If you have significant trouble breathing or other severe symptoms, you may need emergency care. If you are unsure, speak with your doctor," urged the statement. 

According to the Travis County Commissioners Court, on Tuesday, March 3rd, the court will take up item A1 to consider and take appropriate action on community preparation and information for flu and other infectious diseases. The Court will receive briefings from Austin Public Health, Travis County Health and Human Services, and Travis County Emergency Services. 

Visit the CDC's website of the Texas DSHS website for more information and preventative measures you can take to avoid the spread of COVID-19.