Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope announced in a news webinar Sunday evening he is issuing a stay-at-home order, which goes into effect Sunday night into Monday morning at midnight. It will run through Friday, April 3. He said it does not change restrictions currently in place for what qualifies as an essential business.
The order bans any gatherings, public or private, outside of a single household. Mayor Pope said he is asking everyone in Lubbock to stay home, with exception of getting groceries, medical treatment or other critical needs, or to work at an essential business. It also requires anyone who feels sick to stay home.
The announcement came a couple of hours after President Trump announced the White House coronavirus task force is recommending social distancing guidelines currently in place nationwide be extended through April 30.
The city reported 10 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the total to 51. Of those, public health director Katherine Wells said about eight people have completed the necessary quarantine and have recovered. The first case was reported about two weeks ago.
Earlier Sunday Governor Abbott said there were at least 2,552 COVID-19 cases in Texas, including 34 deaths. As we have reported for several weeks, most COVID-19 cases bring mild symptoms. Abbott said roughly 10 percent of positive COVID-19 cases in the state required hospitalization.
The state reports there have been 25,483 tests performed across Texas.
The City of Lubbock has issued quarantine orders to four nursing home/ medical facilities, restricting staff from these facilities from working anywhere else or traveling anywhere other than from home to work: Whisperwood, Heritage Oaks, Southern Specialty, Lakeside Rehabilitation Center.
Public health authority Dr. Ronald Cook, D.O., said in three days the number of COVID-19 cases in Lubbock climbed from 19 to 49. Many of the cases, he said, are asymptomatic. "Those are the ones that scare us the most," Dr. Cook said, because they feel fine and are moving about the area, not knowing they are carrying the virus.
FOX34 asked the webinar panel how these new asymptomatic cases were identified, when there are requirements for someone to be tested, namely that they show symptoms. Health officials clarified these asymptomatic confirmed cases were people working at nursing homes with confirmed cases or had a connection to another COVID-19 case.
Sunday evening's update came via a webinar. This was a change from previous news conferences held in-person at city hall, with the media present.