(Editor’s note: this story has been updated to the below since press time Tuesday, April 14. Further updates may occur before next week’s edition).
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The City of Slaton received a report of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the City from the Office of Emergency Management in Lubbock Tuesday evening (April 14).
It has since been updated twice, most recently Thursday evening (April 16) bringing the total up to 13 in the City.
City Mayor Lynn Nowlin made the announcement Tuesday evening (April 14).
“The City of Slaton, Mike Lamberson, City Administrator and (I), Mayor were contacted by phone call (Tuesday) from the Lubbock County Office of Emergency Management to report that a confirmed case of coronavirus or COVID-19 has been confirmed for a resident of the City of Slaton,” she said in a statement.
Nowlin went on to explain how reports are being made of cases in the county.
“The report is made by the person’s address. HIPAA laws will not allow the person’s name to be used for identification,” she added. “The address is then distributed to all first responder personnel in the area so that in a case where they are answering a call at that address, they are prepared to protect themselves and all involved with the necessary equipment, (such as) PPE.”
Nowlin added that the County has hired Dr. Douglas Klepper to receive and disseminate all positive COVID-19 results for those who live in the county but not the City of Lubbock itself.
This may have lead to a delayed response between the positive case and report to communities in the county.
The Slatonite contacted the Lubbock and other Health Departments to confirm the case earlier in the day and was told cases in the county were reported by entire county.
This is confirmed by Nowlin. “All cases in the whole county are being reported daily – there is just not a further breakdown by city or community outside of Lubbock from there,” said Nowlin.
That said, she hopes the hiring of Dr. Klepper will expediate the reports. “This is extremely important as anyone testing positive with the Coronavirus is able to pass the virus continually until they take two negative tests that could take several weeks,” she said.
Now, social distancing protocols will have a more significant impact in the coming weeks.
“As we learn more about this deadly virus we (in) Slaton hope to provide our citizens with the most timely reports and keep our citizens from being exposed to anyone that is infected,” said Nowlin. “We are still operating under the Governor’s orders of stay-at-home and social distancing. The threat of a second wave of this virus is very real.”
City of Slaton City Administrator Mike Lamberson said should there be more positive cases reported, it will be posted on the City’s web page, cityofslaton.com under Coronavirus Update, and the Mayor’s Facebook page, Lynn Nowlin Mayor, City of Slaton, as soon as possible.
Any further updates or cases reported of COVID-19 in the City will also be listed on The Slatonite’s Facebook page Slatonite, and website, www.slatonitenews.com.