City of Lubbock Health Department news conference - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock Health Dept. provides update on coronavirus preparedness

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City of Lubbock health director Katherine Wells said there are no COVID-19 cases in Lubbock or the surrounding area.

During a news conference updating the city's ongoing efforts and preparedness steps, she cited the World Health Organization update Sunday that showed 62 cases in the United States, nearly 80,000 in China and 7,000 in other countries.

"So we will have very few cases in the United States" relative to the rest of the world, Wells said.

Local health expert Dr. Ronald Cook said everyone in the room has had a coronavirus because it covers a wide range of infections. The version he referenced is the common cold. He then explained how COVID-19 is a new variation and why it is something more serious than a cold.

"We really don't know how fast it spreads," Dr. Cook said, though early information, he said, shows it spreads close to the rate of influenza.

"Wash your hands," Dr. Cook repeated, as to how to prevent its spread. He also said anyone who is sick should cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze. He also urged anyone who is sick to stay home.

Watch the news conference in this video: 

City manager Jarrett Atkinson said the city is prepared and has a plan if COVID-19 cases are reported in the area. He said the city can operate its emergency operations center to coordinate response and disseminate information, if needed.

U.S. death toll climbs to 6 as viral crisis eases in China

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