LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock has a zip code map to show where the active cases of COVID-19 are most concentrated across the city.
The city also has a graph that breaks down the number of cases according to ethnicity.
However, the reason each graph may appear heavy in some areas could be that many people in that section are not taking advantage of testing.
For the first time at the city’s bi-weekly news conference, Councilwoman Shelia Patterson-Harris and Councilman Juan Chadis took the mic in an effort to reach the people in their districts.
Patterson-Harris, representing district 2, said she wants people to know that testing at the TJ Patterson library is free to those who do not have insurance. She said that there have been 79 tests at the new Patterson testing site... and that’s good… but she says many more should take advantage of this, especially now that the CDC has increased priority testing among certain ethnic groups considered high risk.She explained, “Currently, those groups are African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos and some American Indian tribes.” She added that if someone is in one of those groups and feels like they should be tested, they should do so. The CDC has updated its guidelines to recognize that some people in those minority groups could be healthy carriers of Covid 19 without showing symptoms.
Another first for the news conference today, Councilman Juan Chadis made a 4 minute plea to his constituents in district 1 and beyond... in Spanish. Interpreting his Spanish, he said, "Please limit your gatherings this weekend. If it's possible, call your grandmother or your mother with your best wishes this weekend on this special day but let's not contaminate our loved ones with coronavirus."
Another reason to avoid big Mother’s Day gatherings, even when family members all appear to be healthy, came from Katherine Wells, Director of the Lubbock Health Department. She said, “We’re seeing that it may take as much as 7 days before someone who is infected shows symptoms.”
Lubbock Health Authority Dr. Ron Cook was empathetic about the timing of this holiday weekend, especially if mothers or grandmothers are in nursing homes which are still under lockdown. He said, “Please know that my heart hurts for you if you have a loved one in one of these facilities and you can’t go visit them. Send them flowers. Send them cards. Do things like that. Unfortunately, it’s the governor’s orders.”
Protecting our friends and loved ones was a recurring theme among our city leaders and health officials as we all approach a big weekend for family gatherings. We all want this to be a happy Mother's Day. But I think Sheila Patterson-Harris said it best using two words after asking us to take care of each other.
She added, “Especially Mama.”