The number of active COVID-19 cases has begun to decline in Austin County.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported on Monday that the number of active cases in the county was down to 144 from 216 the previous week. That was the first significant decline in active COVID-19 cases since early August. Even so, there were 15 new cases reported on Sept. 4 and six more on Sept. 5.
“DSHS is showing Austin County with 144 active cases, six fatalities, 291 recoveries and a total of 442,” County Judge Tim Lapham said in his weekly update. “Apparently one has slipped thru the cracks as the numbers only add up to 441. I don’t have any further information on the fatalities.”
In his report, Lapham said he is ready to see more businesses open up, especially bars.
“There is a push to open more which I am in favor of,” he said. “Bars have taken it on the chin. I’m not opposed to them opening with the same precautions as restaurants. The problem is anyone who has a liquor license answers to the state, not the local government.
“Just like when hair salons and barber shops were closed. We had virtual meetings with many of the businesses and they were in fear of losing their state license. Some bars have started serving more food and are able to work around the rules.”
He then turned his attention to the way the media has handled reporting COVID-19.
“I don’t like the way the Houston Chronicle displays the COVID-19 data. I appreciate them taking space to show the information, but it looks like the Black Plague is enveloping the state,” he said. “From their picture, it looks as if the COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado County is as bad as it is in Harris County. What’s the old saying about ‘Liars figure and figures lie’?”
Lapham, who has never advocated the use of face coverings and has not worn one at public meetings, urged people to, “Keep up the precautions you have been doing.”
“Don’t let a news source ruin your day. If it’s a news channel, Facebook or a newspaper. If they are preaching doom and gloom, turn it off,” he advised.