The Abilene Taylor County Public Health District at 850 North 6th Street, and MERCY Health Care Center at 1902 Shelton Street are now closed to the public until further notice.
Residents are still able to access resources and COVID-19 testing provided by MERCY and the Health District by first calling either facility and receiving further instruction. Residents can contact MERCY at 325.676.6634, or the Abilene Taylor County Public Health District at 325.692.5600.
The closure of MERCY and the Health District to the public comes after nine staff members tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to this, two Emergency Management employees, and three Abilene Fire Department members have tested positive, for a total of fourteen employees testing positive for COVID-19 in the last forty-eight hours. These staff members are self-isolating at home where they continue to work remotely as symptoms are mild at this time. Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna has also self-isolated due to exposure to a COVID-19 positive staff member, and is working from home. He remains symptom free at this time.
It is believed the initial COVID-19 exposure occurred through community spread, and the City is taking all necessary precautions to limit further exposure among its workforce. This spread of COVID-19 is evidence that despite best practices, all businesses will eventually deal with COVID-19 infections in their workforce, and should follow recommended practices to minimize its spread.
The Abilene Taylor-County Public Health District urges area residents to slow the spread of COVID-19 by:
Practicing social distancing, and staying home as much as possible
Wearing a mask when away from home
Washing or sanitizing hands often, and avoid touching your face
Covering sneezes and coughs
Staying home if you are sick
Routinely cleaning commonly touched surfaces
Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.
If you may be showing symptoms for COVID-19, call your medical provider, the Abilene Taylor-County Public Health District at 325.692.5600, Abilene Regional Medical Center at 325.428.1000, Abilene Diagnostic Clinic at 325.437.8602, or text covidhelp to Hendrick Health System at 325.216.4824. Please do not arrive at a medical facility without first making contact by phone and receiving instruction.