The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Kaufman County since the start of the pandemic reached 2,321 on Aug. 12, including 27 deaths, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Total confirmed cases in the Terrell mailing zone stood at 547 on Aug. 11, including 23 active, according to Dustin Conner, Terrell’s coordinator of emergency management.

Statewide, Texas recorded 324 deaths on Aug. 12, a one-day record. The state’s positivity rate for those tested for the coronavirus 23% on Aug. 12, DSHS information showed. Total deaths in Texas stood at 9,034 on Aug. 12.

Despite the gloomy numbers, Conner saw encouraging signs in seven-day rolling averages of new infections, which peaked in July and has begun to moderate. However, Conner said it is likely the state will see an uptick in infections with the onset of the school year and after the Labor Day weekend, he told the City Council on Tuesday night.

In keeping the virus at bay, it’s important to keep in mind “we are our own worst enemy,” Conner noted. The best way to keep infections down and perhaps see a recovery is for people to follow Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which encourage the use of facemasks when appropriate, frequent and vigorous hand washing, and social distancing.

Another round of virus testing is expected at the municipal airport on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21 and 22, according to Conner. People will have to make an appointment, and information about the testing will be placed on the city’s website next week.

Conner recommends that people contact their primary physician for the most reliable testing.

City Manager Mike Sims noted a new piece of equipment the city is “test driving” that can take the temperature of people in the lobby at City Hall. The scanning device can take a person’s temperature and provide them with a record, including the time and day. The device can help the city manage its municipal court operations so people with fevers are not allowed to stay inside City Hall. Also, the city hopes it can apply the device to other city operations, such as the library, which could be opened for Terrell school children.

Mayor Rick Carmona asked Sims if the city is keeping in channels open with the Terrell ISD, which is scheduled to begin its school year on Aug. 26. The district initially had planned to open Aug. 19.

Sims replied that the city continues to engage with school officials about what the city can do to assist. “We’ve had a real good dialogue with them on that topic,” he said.

The school district, Carmona said, plays a crucial role in the life of Terrell. “The stronger the school system is, the stronger the city is,” he stated.

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