Virus cases drop to 3

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As of Tuesday morning, Austin County was down to just three active cases of COVID-19, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

There have been 507 total cases with 495 recoveries and nine deaths according to the state. Because Austin County has dropped below the state’s threshold for a mask mandate, County Judge Tim Lapham last week submitted the necessary paperwork to exempt the county from the governor’s order.

“The mask exemption form was submitted to the state last Monday and again on Thursday with no response,” Lapham said in a post Monday. “We are well below the threshold. I have not received an update for today and we no longer get updates over the weekend. As of Friday, we had seven new cases over the past 14 days.”

Coronavirus or flu?

The DSHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are strongly urging people to get a flu vaccine this year. The CDC recently issues recommendations related to the two diseases.

“Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses,” the CDC said on its website.

“There are some key differences between flu and COVID-19. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer.

“Another important difference is there is a vaccine to protect against flu. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.”

The CDC said it is difficult to tell the viruses apart.

“Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.”

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