WFWC Health District grapples with overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As Wichita County sees record highs in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, health officials are breaking down where and how patients may have gotten the virus.

“We like to go out and do things, we like to participate in things, but it’s those things that are getting our community sick,” Wichita Falls-Wichita County Assistant Health Director Amy Fagan said.

The workplace, specifically from employee to employee is the number one way of spread in Wichita County. The second most common is through going to church and church events like bible studies. Fagan says gatherings are a large part of the problem too.

“We had an enchilada party, where 13 people attended and at least six of them are sick now. We’ve had gatherings where people are around their friends or they’re around their family. They’re around people they work with, and they’ve loosened up their guard,” Fagan said.

Wichita County has seen more than 670 new cases since Oct. 7.

Community Healthcare Center PA-C Lee Ackley said they don’t provide rapid testing or testing for those asymptomatic.

“We’ve actually been seeing a decrease in the number of patients that are coming in to be tested,” Ackley said. “That being said here on 3rd Street about half, a third to a half that we are testing are coming back positive.”

The cases he’s seen mostly are those knowing they’ve come into contact.

“That can be a house member or usually it’s somebody,” Ackley said. “I think the last three or four that I’ve done this week or last week was somebody who was a coach that’d been exposed to a mother who had been positive.”

While the health district can narrow down where the person might’ve been infected, Fagan said staying vigilant is more important than ever.

“We have wide community spread. It is here. It is pervasive,” Fagan said. “What we can do is control the spread that you know about and what that means is we are one of the few departments remaining who are doing full contact tracing and surveillance.”

Included in high numbers across the area, Fagan said daycares are seeing outbreaks, too.

The most recent: more than 25 staff and students combined.

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