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First local case of COVID-19 confirmed

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Wills Point Mayor Mark Turner took to social media multiple times over the past week, advising residents of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 within the city limits April 9.

Turner’s press release to residents noted, “The Northeast Public Health District has received confirmation of one positive case of the novel coronavirus within the City of Wills Point. The individual was exposed through community spread and is currently at home in isolation.

“You have the responsibility, more than ever, to follow recommendations from local officials and health officials. Stay home unless it is essential for food or medication.

“If you feel you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please contact your healthcare provider or call 2-1-1 for testing information and/or testing locations.

“If you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms, please be sure and call your health provider before going to your doctor or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.

“If everyone will stay at home, this threat will pass, and we can resume normal, everyday activities. Just because you feel okay and do not have symptoms does not mean you are not a carrier. You could be spreading the virus without even knowing.

“More information can be found on the following websites: www.myNETHealth.org/ coronavirus, www.dshs.texas. gov/coronavirus, and www. cdc.gov/coronavirus.”

Turner would go on to add, “We don’t know who it is or where they live inside the city limits, so don’t ask and get mad when you don’t have that information. There are privacy laws that must be followed by all parts of government and until such laws are lifted you can expect to receive exactly what we know. Please do your best to follow the guidelines set forth by the governor. We are Wills Point Strong and will prevail over this virus. Thank each of you who are diligently following the protocol and keep up the great effort.”

In a subsequent post April 10, Turner raised concerns of teenagers hanging out and traveling through the city together during this time while large gatherings are being discouraged due to the spread of COVID-19.

Said Turner, “Groups of teenagers traveling the city streets together is not acceptable. I witnessed this myself with six, what appeared to be friends, walking from McDonald’s, crossing the highway and then regrouping on the north side as they continued their journey. Now, perhaps they were all family. I can’t be sure of that. However, it’s not just about them but about them and everyone else. And let’s not forget, we are under order from Governor Abbott to shelter-in-place.

“Something none of us will enjoy: Your child receiving a citation for not practicing social distancing per the state requirement. That citation will run upwards of $1,000. You don’t want that. We don’t want to have to do it. Parents, keep your kids at home. Otherwise, we can expect to see continued spread, the spread of the virus will last longer, and your bank account will hurt greatly.”