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New quarter brings new covid updates
COVID cases still on the rise
November 20, 2020
As people return to normal-life, COVID cases continue to rise again and Denton County residents are starting to feel the effects.
According to Denton County Public Health (DCPH), active cases in the county peaked on August 1. After that, everything started to settle and seemed to be declining. However, the number of COVID cases are rising again, reaching 2,483 as of Tuesday, October 20. In addition, the death toll has more than doubled since August 1.
“Our goal in public health is to be as transparent, as visible, and as responsive as we can to the ongoing COVID-19 concern,” Public health director Matt Richardson said. “If you want to look at active cases you can start to see the rise in COVID-19 transmission in Denton County. Again, this is a concern. The importance of continued prevention, facial coverings, and physical distancing are stressed.”
The state of Texas is preparing a plan for statewide distribution of the vaccine once it becomes available. Richardson said there are currently six vaccine candidates, five of which will require two doses.
“DCPH is actively working with the state health department and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on their understanding of the most likely candidate for that vaccine,” Richardson said. “We’re planning on vaccine tracking and distribution, patient tracking, and a reminder for a second dose.”
As COVID cases rise once again in the Denton area, business owners are worried that the decrease in customers will spell doom for their operations. As a local small business owner, Joann Phan has some concerns.
“I’m lucky to have customers all over the US,” Phan said. “The damage to my operation isn’t that large. However, [local businesses] are suffering greatly from this situation. They don’t have any customers but are forced to pay the electric, water, and even the internet bill if they want their store to be open. I have a friend who owns a little coffee shop and COVID has forced her to shut down her place. Maybe forever.”
Phan’s husband, Steven Nguyen, said that while meeting with other business owners he always hears one thing in common.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how strange it feels going into these once-bustling places during COVID,” Nguyen said. “Most of the people I’ve met with told me they’ve never gone into debt before. Never overdrawn a bank account. Never had to cut corners. But now, in 2020, that’s the only thing they can do. It’s upsetting, to say the least. I wish all of this could go away, but that’s not how it works.”
Many are also concerned as to why cases may have begun to increase again. One student points to an increase in class sizes and the way some people are wearing their mask.
“My world history class looks normal [before Covid]. Nineteen to twenty students packed in a class.,” sophomore Caris Stutes said. “This isn’t last year or any other year. You can’t just put that many students in a class without risking infection. Some of the people in class, I’ve noticed, even take off their masks or pull it under their noses. Can’t think of a better reason for why COVID cases are ramping up again.”
With everything going on another student believes it is important to inform students about ways to prevent the virus from infecting more people.
“Every time someone said something incorrect about COVID I try my best to correct and provide evidence,” sophomore Wafa Mansoor said. “Wash your hands for 20 seconds, wear a mask, social distance so on, and so on. It might not be that big, but I think doing something is better than nothing.”