City of Lubbock updates 3rd case of coronavirus, details changes to city services

City of Lubbock news conference, updating COVID-19 cases in Lubbock

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock held a news conference Thursday providing the latest information about the third confirmed case of Coronavirus and important changes to city services following Gov. Abbott’s order.

Details on third case of coronavirus

They began by talking about the third coronavirus case in Lubbock, a man who went public on social media from UMC. This man has a family connection to the Josie’s restaurant chain and is a minister at the worship center. He has not been employed or attended services since October 2019. He is believed to have contracted COVID-19 while he was traveling out of the country.

The health department is concerned about possible exposures from March 12, the date he first had symptoms. The city is not worried about exposure prior to when he showed symptoms. Health care facilities have been informed and are following their own contact procedures. The city has also notified his close contacts and they will be interviewing him again on Friday morning.

City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said, “We can and will enforce these quarantines. We can ensure that they will stay where they are supposed to stay.”

High, medium, and low-risk contacts

Director of Public Health Dr. Katherine Wells also explained the difference between high, medium and low risk contacts.

A high-risk contact has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 without using appropriate protective equipment, like someone in the same household with an infected person. Those people are restricted to their homes and are required to check in daily with the health department. They are also required to call if they develop any symptoms.

A medium-risk contact may have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, but they did use proper protective equipment. These people are on self-monitoring where they take their temperature daily and watch for signs and symptoms. The health department recommends that they remain in their homes and practice social distancing.

A low-risk contact is someone who has been in the same indoor environment with an infected person, but not for a prolonged period. These people need to practice social distancing, stay at home if they become sick and seek medical attention if their symptoms become severe.

The city has completed their first two case investigations and delivered control orders to both families, telling them to remain in their homes.

Details of Gov. Abbott’s statewide order

Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope confirmed that Governor Abbott’s statewide order supersedes anything we were doing locally. It goes into effect at midnight and runs through April 3.

Highlights include:

  • No social gatherings more than 10 people.
  • No eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, or food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors. Drive-thru and pickup options are allowed.
  • Texas schools are closed until April 3.
  • Grocery stores, gas stations and banks remain open
  • Governor stressed this is not a shelter in place order.
  • There is no ban on domestic travel.
  • No visits to nursing homes or retirement facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

City Manager Jarrett Atkinson went over the changes to city operations in response to the governor’s order.

  • Some city buildings will be closed to the public but city services will continue. Full length guards have been installed at all points that remain open.
  • Vital Statistics will have one window open. Citizens are encouraged to make these requests by mail or online if possible.
  • The Lubbock Power & Light office in the Lubbock Business Center will also be open. It is restricted to only self-serve kiosks. Two customer service stations will remain open. They also have drop boxes and a drive-up.
  • The water service location at Municipal Health will also be open if people need water meters, hydrant meters, etc.
  • This does not affect the airport. The airport stays open.
  • Citibus will continue to run. That does include transfer plaza downtown. They will take measures to use smaller buses and to separate people on larger ones.
  • Atkinson warned that some services were likely to “be a bit slower, but they’re not gonna stop.”
  • Services like building inspections and permits can be handled online.
  • The city will be closing the athletic complexes, the tennis center, safety city, park pavillions, and the Clapp Party House.
  • City libraries will be closed but all four libraries will be offering curbside pickup. The city is working on a system to allow citizens to place online or telephone orders for books and pick them up in about an hour.
  • Adult activity centers will be closed, but senior meals will be provided curbside to anyone registered with the program. Others who need help will be able to sign up. The city will not be providing transportation to the facilities but they will be delivering food for seniors.
  • Parks and playgrounds will remain open. The city has added an additional protocol to clean the playgrounds.

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