Concerns about coronavirus COVID-19 are affecting events, activities and day-to-day procedures as health care professionals encourage social distancing to slow the rate of infection.
Here is a roundup of how the coronavirus is impacting Abilene life. This will be updated throughout the day.
Health care facilities screening visitors
Nursing homes, assisted living centers and other facilities are beginning to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that patients and visitors be screened for coronavirus symptoms before entering.
Those symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Before making a visit, call the facility to check if new screening procedures are in place.
Dyess AFB increase health protective level
Dyess Air Force Base raised its Health Protection Condition level to A from zero Thursday in response to the spread of COVID-19, according to a base news release.
"This change is a precautionary measure designed to implement increased disease protection measures and education of base personnel in order to help prevent potential widespread outbreak," the release said.
Dyess is enacting additional preventative measures, including pre-screening personnel with on-base clinic appointments, narrowing access to the 7th Medical Group and base gym to a single point of entry, and having individuals keep hold of their ID cards when being scanned by security forces members for base entry, the release said.
Church services still on
No local churches contacted by the Reporter-News on Friday had canceled Sunday services, although all are encouraging people who are sick to stay home. Some have made changes to communion services to limit physical contact.
Many churches now offer online livestreaming of services, and are encouraging those who stay home to keep connected digitally.
Event organizers can email information about cancellations to PublishMe@reporternews.com, or text 325-812-7151.
- Hendrick Health System – To support social distancing to decrease the likelihood of possible COVID-19 transmission, we are canceling some of our scheduled public activities: Medication Cleanout, Saturday; Hendrick Hospice Care’s Celebration of Life Candlelight Memorial Service, Monday (will reschedule); and Stroke Support Group, Thursday.
- Vietnam War Commemoration in Midland, March 27 - Postponed
- Cisco College – Face-to-face classes and events are cancelled March 16-20. Residence halls will be closed for these dates. Online classes resume as normal on March 16. Campus will remain open to faculty and staff; however, employees who have traveled in an area affected by COVID-19 are to work from home and follow CDC guidelines.
- Howard Payne University – Spring Break will be extended March 16-20. All courses will transition to an online instruction format from March 23 to April 8, with in-class instruction resuming on April 13. All University offices will remain open from March 16 to April 9, and faculty and staff are to report to their offices as scheduled on 8 a.m. Monday, March 16. Student workers should contact their supervisors regarding expectations during this time. Residence Halls will remain closed until 5 p.m. April 12.
- Texas State Technical College – "TSTC is extending spring break through March 29 for all TSTC campuses," the college said in a news release. "Online learning classes will continue as originally scheduled. The college will use this period to prepare for alternative methods of delivery so students can continue the semester." Face-to-face classes are expected to resume March 30, but that plan could be adjusted.
By: Laura Gutschke
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