Re-Open Texas Begins May 1
As of May 1, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an order to re-open businesses in phases. On April 30, 2020, the Abilene City Council passed a resolution to adopt Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-18.
- Resolution 87-2020 Modifying the Disaster Order Issued on April 13, 2020 (PDF)
- Governor Greg Abbott Executive Order GA-18 (PDF)
- Governor’s Open Texas Report (PDF)
Re-Open Updates for May 8 & May 18
Governor Greg Abbott issued a press release on the continual opening of businesses in Texas.
City Facilities Reopening Plans
The City of Abilene is working to reopen area businesses along with City facilities in accordance with the Governor’s Open Texas guidelines.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has notified the Abilene Taylor County Public Health District of two changes needing to made in its reporting of COVID-19 positive test results. Read on...
An additional seven members of the department are in self-quarantine awaiting test results. Read on...
Tele-services and COVID-19 testing still are available by calling 325.676.6634 or 325.692.5600. Read on...
Abilene Taylor County Public Health District reports second COVID-19 related death for Taylor CountyThe deceased patient was a male in his 70s, with underlying health conditions, who was being cared for at Hendrick Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit. Read on...
Residents are urged to continue social distancing and help manage the rate of community infection. Read on...
The Abilene Taylor County Public Health District would like to notify the public of possible exposure to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 at Abilene’s south side Walmart located at 4350 Southwest Drive. Read on...
The deceased patient was a female in her 40s, and a resident of Disability Resources, Inc. (DRI) with underlying medical conditions. Read on...
These four positive test results brings the total positive test count for Taylor County and Dyess Air Force Base to seven. Read on...
This is the second positive test result received by the Health District, and the third total for Taylor County and Dyess AFB Read on...
An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the first individual to test positive for COVID-19 in Taylor County has revealed the following information... Read on...
The infected individual was tested Wednesday, March 25, and received notification of their positive test result Thursday, March 26. Read on...
It's important to know Community Services’ Parks and Recreation crews do not sanitize City park equipment or surfaces. Read on...
Effective immediately after signing on March 23, 2020, Mayor Anthony Williams has directed residents to limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer individuals to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read on...
Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams and City administration has taken these steps to promote social distancing in our community. Read on...
Is there a hotline I can call for more information on COVID-19?
Yes, please call 2-1-1 for all general COVID-19 questions.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is a new virus that has the potential to cause severe illness, including pneumonia, in some individuals.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person by respiratory droplets. Normally, to come into contact with these droplets, individuals must be within 6 feet of someone who is contagious. Individuals may also become infected with COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. To learn more about how COVID-19 spreads, please visit Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from cdc.gov.
What are the symptoms and when do they appear?
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear within 2-14 days of exposure. This is why quarantine for COVID-19 lasts 14 days. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. For more information on symptoms please visit Symptoms on the cdc.gov website.
How is COVID-19 treated?
There are currently no treatments for COVID-19. People infected with the virus should receive supportive care to relieve symptoms. These include getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids. For severe cases, treatment may require hospitalization.
Who is most vulnerable to COVID-19?
Older adults, individuals who are immunocompromised and those with a serious medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes and/or lung disease are at the highest risk. For more information, please visit If You Are at Higher Risk on cdc.gov
I’m healthy. Why should I be concerned about COVID-19?
While young people generally have less risk of death related to COVID-19, they can still have severe cases that can lead to hospitalization and they are also capable of infecting others.
I’m COVID-19 positive and want to breastfeed, how do I do so safely?
Mothers who are breastfeeding and become COVID-19 positive can continue to breastfeed as long as they wash their hands before touching their baby and wear a mask while breastfeeding.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
At this time, there is no vaccine available.
How can I protect myself and others?
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Practice social distancing and avoid being within 6 feet of people, especially those that are sick.
- Avoid touching your face; especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw it away in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched objects and surfaces such as door knobs, light switches and cell phones.
- Stay at home when you are sick or have symptoms of illness such as fever, cough and sore throat.
For more information, please visit Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on cdc.gov.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is when an individual increases the physical space between them and other individuals. Staying at least 6 feet away from other people reduces the chance of catching COVID-19. Examples of social distancing include:
- Attending school online
- Visiting loved one electronically
- Working from home
- Cancelling or postponing conferences, large meetings and social gatherings
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
Only individuals who meet current CDC criteria for COVID-19 testing may be tested at this time.
What do I do if I think I have COVID-19? How do I get tested?
- Step 1: Call your primary care physician. If you do not have a primary care physician, please call the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District at 325-692-5600.
- Step 2: Call ahead before going in person to the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District or any other medical facility.
- Step 3: Don’t go to the local emergency department for COVID-19 testing. The emergency department is only for those who need the most critical care.*
General questions about COVID-19? Call 2-1-1
*If you are experiencing potentially life-threatening problems, call 9-1-1
What is self-quarantine?
Self-quarantine is being recommended for individuals who have recently traveled to certain parts of the country or world and for those who have been exposed to an individual that is infected with COVID-19. Additionally, those who have symptoms of COVID-19 without travel or known contact may also be asked to self-quarantine at this time.
Quarantine for COVID-19 lasts 14 days. This amount of time determines whether someone will become sick and contagious with COVID-19. If someone is quarantined, they are expected to stay inside their home and at least 6 feet away from the other individuals in their household. A separate bathroom should be utilized for the quarantined individual, if possible. Individuals who are quarantined should also refrain from sharing cups, utensils, towels and similar items. They should not go out in public and should have shared areas in the home frequently disinfected with appropriate cleaners and disinfectants. Once your quarantine period ends, if you’ve had no symptoms, you are free to resume normal activities. However, if the COVID-19 outbreak is still taking place, you should still practice social distancing and other prevention measures.
Self-Isolation in Detail
Are hospitals, medical providers and the Health Department required to report positive cases of COVID-19?
Yes. Positive cases of COVID-19 are classified as “immediately reportable” in the state of Texas and any providers, hospitals and labs must report to DSHS or the local health department immediately. DSHS has a notifiable condition hotline that is available 24/7.
Several Texas laws (Health & Safety Code, Chapters 81, 84, and 87) require specific information regarding notifiable conditions be provided to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Health care providers, hospitals, laboratories, schools, and others are required to report patients who are suspected of having a notifiable condition (Chapter 97, Title 25, Texas Administrative Code). Failure to report a notifiable condition is a Class B misdemeanor under the Texas Health and Safety Code, §81.049.
Will the health department tell the public about positive COVID-19 cases?
Yes. The Health Department will report all positive COVID-19 cases to the public, DSHS and the CDC as this is required by law to ensure the health and safety of our community. Community members cannot appropriately protect themselves from COVID-19 if they do not know where COVID-19 is located or how COVID-19 is spreading. We also notify individuals that have come into contact with a positive case via social tracing.
(Health & Safety Code, Chapters 81, 84, and 87) (Chapter 97, Title 25, Texas Administrative Code).
What is contact tracing?
Contract tracing is the monitoring and notification process our Epidemiology team will use to determine who may have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, although contact tracing is used at times with other infectious diseases. Contact tracing helps us prevent further virus transmission and it allows the contact person to get tested, if deemed necessary.
Contact tracing has 3 main steps:
1. Identify contacts: Someone that tests positive with COVID-19 will be interviewed to find out where they have been and who they have come in close contact with. These individuals are identified as “contacts”.
2. Contact listing: After contacts are identified, they are contacted to inform them of their status. Our Epidemiology team will explain what this means, what actions they should take and what to do if they develop symptoms. Quarantine will be required for COVID-19 contacts. If an entire group of people is potentially exposed, such as a church or a store, we will notify that location of this possible exposure and when the possible exposure might have occurred.
3. Contact follow up: Our Epidemiology team will follow-up with contacts to monitor them for symptoms and request testing, if deemed necessary.
What does “community spread” mean?
Community spread means people are being infected with the virus with no related travel.
What is “flattening the curve”?
"Flatten the Curve" to keep the number of sick individuals below the threshold of how many the hospitals can treat.
Can COVID-19 live on surfaces?
Studies show that COVID-19 can live on surfaces for a few hours to days, depending on the material, temperature and environment.
Why are flu shots important at this time?
Estimates by the CDC state that between Oct. 1 and Feb. 29 there were at least 34 million illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths caused by the flu. These cases place a burden on our healthcare system. Reducing flu in our community protects your health, the health of our community and allows our healthcare system to be more available to respond to other ailments, like Coronavirus.
Is COVID-19 a seasonal virus? Will it go away with warmer weather?
Currently, several countries that are being impacted by COVID-19 are experiencing summer weather. While some viruses are less common in warmer months, it is still possible to catch them all year round and researchers are still unsure what impact weather will have on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Is Coronavirus in our water?
Coronavirus has never been detected in water and our water treatment methods help remove or inactivate viruses. Please see the CDC’s website for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
- CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- WHO: Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Texas DSHS: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Hendrick Medical: Coronavirus Information
- 211 A Call for Help: 2-1-1 Texas | Texas Health And Human Services Commission
- COVID-19 Mental Health Support: COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line
- FEMA Rumor Control
- John Hopkins: COVID-19 Information
- CDC: Print Resources in Various Languages
- CDC: Symptom Self-Checker
- COVID-19 Kids Coloring Activity: Time Capsule Coloring Activity (PDF)
- How to Wear a Face Mask: Face Mask Instructions (PDF)
COVID-19 Refugee Resources
- COVID Care Guide (French) (PDF)
- COVID Care Guide (Swahili) (PDF)
- COVID Handout (Kinyarwanda) (PDF)
- COVID-19 Instructions (English) (PDF)
- COVID-19 Instructions (Swahili) (PDF)
- COVID-19 Instructions (French) (PDF)
- COVID-19 Instructions (Kinyarwanda) (PDF)
- COVID-19 Instructions (Nepali) (PDF)
- Face Mask Instructions (Swahili) (PDF)
- Face Mask Instructions (Kinyarwanda) (PDF)
- Face Mask Instructions (French) (PDF)
COVID-19 Business Resources
- Abilene Chamber of Commerce: https://www.businessresourceabilene.com/faq-covid-19-businesses
For these and more myths & information visit the World Health Organization’s Myth Busters page.
Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous
Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes. Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only. Remember to keep chlorine (bleach) and other disinfectants out of reach of children.
5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19
Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.
Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous
Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.
Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.
Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C (77F) degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.