Churches, schools, athletics and parties connected to spike COVID-19 cases in Wichita County

Local News

WICHITA FALLS — Last week, Wichita County saw the highest weekly total of positive tests since the county’s first case in March with 189 new cases. On Monday, 59 new cases were announced from over the weekend.

Director of Health Lou Kreidler provided an update to the Wichita Falls City Council Tuesday morning about the uptick in cases.

“We are seeing spread occur in churches, schools, athletics in preschool, junior high and high school, parties held in homes, whether that’s birthday parties, backyard BBQs, wedding showers, baby showers or any other type of event where people are getting together,” Kreidler said.

Kreidler said spread is occurring more rapidly where individuals are not wearing masks or not wearing masks appropriately.

“I encourage parents to start thinking about alternatives to traditional trick or treating and Halloween parties, plan events with fewer children attending and find other creative ways to have fun, but not to increase the spread of COVID-19,” Kreidler said.

From September 15 to October 3, Wichita County saw 405 new cases, 275 recoveries, and four deaths. According to data from the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District, there is an average of 22.5 cases per day. Kreidler said this represents an increase of ten cases per day on average since the last city council meeting on September 15.

“We’ve heard over and over again, ‘We just thought it was my allergies so I went to…’ and you can fill that blank with any of the above activities where we’ve had spread,” Kreidler said. “I cannot stress enough if you don’t feel well, stay home. We hear over and over again that people just felt a little sick so they went to work or they were at work for a week before they decided to go get tested so we’ve had some extensive spread in those cases. So please stay home.”

The top three types of spread continue to be close contact, contact and community spread.

“When you add close contact and contact together that represents 57 percent of the spread in our community,” Kreidler said.

Health district data shows those 20 to 29 have the highest percentage of cases with 18.6 percent. Those 30-39 represent 17.5 percent. The percentage for younger people 11 to 19 sits at 15.5 percent. When combine, children up to age 19 represent 23.46 percent of all cases, Kreidler said.

The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District does have a flu vaccine available. Kreidler said it’s more important this year than ever to get a flu shot to ensure the area is vaccinated for influenza.

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