COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Lubbock - FOX34 Lubbock

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Lubbock

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

City leaders in Lubbock face a fifth consecutive week of overall increases in COVID-19 cases, plus more deaths and hospital patients.

The Coronavirus' unique ability to spread before a person becomes symptomatic is still a concern. Director of Public Health, Katherine Wells said the Health Department has seen a common theme in case investigations and screenings.

"They tell us initially that they don't have any symptoms, but a day or two later they are able to report some very significant symptoms and I think that goes back to a lot of the studies showing that people are most infectious right before their symptom onset," Wells explained. "I don't think there's as many people asymptomatic, I think they get tested because of an exposure and then they become symptomatic the next day or two."

This hits home for Mayor Dan Pope who revealed that his daughter who lives in Lubbock, tested positive for COVID-19 and showed no symptoms.

"We joked that her only symptom was boredom, she had no impact and we're thankful for that," Mayor Pope said. "But to me it really hits home how someone as vibrant as a young person can be, can be positive, and potentially could've impacted a lot of other lives."

Mayor Pope said he tested negative last week and is remaining cautious. However, he wants the city to continue taking steps to coexist with the virus.

"I do not support returning to a stay-at-home order," Mayor Pope said. "That impacts too many families and too many workers." 

The daily rolling average for positive tests is almost 15 percent, and Mayor Pope said the goal since March was to keep it under 6 percent.

"I think it's most important right now that we follow the Governor's mask order, that we socially distance and that we do the things that we know slow the spread of COVID-19," he said.

City leaders said it's likely that we won't notice the impact of Governor Abbott's recent orders until two to three weeks after they've been enforced. 

Mayor Pope will begin accepting applications for outdoor gatherings tomorrow, as Governor Abbott gave him that authority last week. This will only affect events inside the city limits. 

For smaller events, the city's put a form together to speed up the process, including safety requirements. Any event expecting more than 50 people has to submit its own comprehensive safety plan. 

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