COVID-19 cases at 13, more than 450 county

The City of Slaton had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 reported last Tuesday (April 14). Since then there have been 12 more confirmed cases, bringing the total up to 13 with one recovery.

They make up part of Lubbock County’s total of more than 400 cases. There have been 32 deaths in the county since the outbreak of the virus in the area.

There were questions in regard to why the delay in reporting of cases after an inquiry of a possible case in Slaton that had occurred two weeks prior.

The Slatonite visited with Clint Thetford of the Office of Emergency Management in regard to the delayed reporting positive COVID-19 cases in Slaton.

Thetford said in 2017 a change had been made in the emergency operations plan in Lubbock between the City of Lubbock Health Department and the county as far as providing public health services.

The changes made it where the county needed to either appoint its own public health authority or – by default under state law, go through the Department of State Health Services to provide services to cities in the county outside of the Lubbock city limits.

Initially it was presumed that the City of Lubbock Health Department was doing the reporting of cases in other cities in the county.

However, during a review of emergency operations plans in the past two weeks, it was discovered the change had been made for the county to appoint a health authority.

The OEM immediately corrected the issue and appointed Dr. Douglas Klepper as the public health authority, who was approved in an emergency meeting of commissioner’s court.

Klepper began working immediately with the State Health Department and Lubbock Health Department to correct the confusion and now send information to cities in the county.

As of April 15, an agreement was reached as to who was going to get daily updates, which is OEM, and reports will now be sent out to the proper authorities.

For more information, please read the Thursday edition of the Slatonite.

Updates on cases, if any, are posted daily to our Facebook page, Slatonite. They can also be found on the City’s website at cityofslaton.com.

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