Press Release 6-23-2020
From: County Judge Kathryn Wiseman,
Mayor Shannon Thomason and Howard County Emergency Management
Re: COVID-19 PSA
We have received a couple of emails and phone calls regarding discrepancies with DSHS reporting numbers and the City of Big Spring/Howard County reporting numbers and believe that it would be beneficial to explain.
The Department of State Health Services receives positive lab results from all testing sites. Those positive results are assigned to a DSHS investigator and upon specific information being verified by DSHS, the local entities’ emergency management is notified. There is usually a delay in emergency management’s notification from DSHS, though we feel it necessary to wait upon the official notification from DSHS instead of relying on their dashboard website for our notification to the citizens of Big Spring and Howard County. This assures us it was not a data-entry issue and assures us we have the most information we can share such as age, gender, current condition and how contracted. It is also noted that occasionally we receive the official notification of positive COVID-19 patients prior to them being displayed on the DSHS dashboard website.
We appreciate the understanding of our citizens on this matter as sharing this information is a daily process that takes the coordination of multiple individuals and entities.
Also, we STRONGLY URGE all citizens to practice caution when going out in public, and to do so only when necessary. When in public areas, citizens should always wear a mask or face covering. These actions protect you and help decrease the spread, especially if you unknowingly have COVID-19 and take the proper precautions. It is crucial that we as a community take our health seriously and minimize the risk to our population.
COVID-19 remains a major concern in our community and we urge citizens to wash their hands, wear a mask, social distance and avoid travel when possible.