Lubbock health officials remained optimistic on the trend of COVID-19 cases here. Public health director Katherine Wells said "this is very different" than what is happening in other cities around the nation, including Amarillo's recent spike in cases, which has prompted response from the federal government. Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope said it has been 17 days since there was an addition of 20 cases in a single day. And, over the last nine days, there has been only one day where the new case count was in the double digits.
Lubbock public health authority Dr. Ronald Cook, D.O., said the recent increase in recoveries and decline to stable count of active cases, is good news. He urged everyone to continue to social distance because "the virus is still out there." He reiterated wearing a mask or facial covering in public protects others. He said people at higher risk, if they catch the novel coronavirus, include those with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, are obese or recently had an organ transplant.
Dr. Cook said many people who recently had a transplant or had a major medical procedure are on medication that reduces or shuts down their immune system. "They won't do well with this virus."
Robert Taylor, co-chair of the Lubbock Economic Recovery Task Force and CEO of United Supermarkets, said Lubbock-area schools are making initial plans for outdoor high school graduations. These details have not been finalized, but Taylor said the schools want to make sure ceremonies can be held before summer, as many of these students begin moving on to other things.
Mayor Pope said Lubbock continues to test at twice the rate of the state, although the state's testing is increasing, "which is good news", he said.
The mayor said city leaders were aware of the crowd of people at Buffalo Springs Lake Saturday afternoon. They were in communication with County Judge Curtis Parrish, since the lake is outside city limits. Pope said Parrish was in communication with the lake's management. The mayor said the city is "pleased that they took action" to close the lake's beaches for the foreseeable future.
Mayor Pope said there were more issues with crowds in neighborhoods than at restaurants or businesses this weekend. He called the first weekend of re-opening very positive.
Detailed information on cases in Lubbock is available at the city's COVID-19 dashboard.