Wood County has first death from COVID-19

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Texas prepared to enter the second phase of reopening businesses Monday, the same day Wood County recorded its first death from COVID-19.

The governor announced the next steps in restarting the economy in a Monday afternoon news conference, and later that day the Northeast Texas Public Health District released its daily dashboard which showed the number of confirmed cases had risen since Friday.

That first death was identified as being from the Winnsboro area, which also jumped to the top of the list with the most cases, eight.

The increase of four cases since Friday brought the total number of confirmed cases to 22, while the number of recoveries remained at 11.

NET Health releases its dashboard on weekdays.

The cases are split with 11 men and 11 women

By age range the largest group is 40-59 with nine followed by 21-40 with six. Mineola has recorded five cases, Quitman four and Yantis three. The cases are identified by ZIP code.

Those cases are from 172 tests conducted on county residents.

A variety of businesses and activities got the green light from Gov. Greg Abbott Monday to reopen or restart, ranging from sports leagues and summer camps to bars and personal care businesses.

Abbott also gave public schools the option of having summer school after May 31 and doubled the capacity for restaurants to 50%. They had been allowed to operate at 25% in addition to outdoor spaces where social distancing could be maintained.

Businesses in office buildings were given the go ahead for a maximum of 10 employees or 25% of the work force.

Abbott’s order did not extended to areas around Amarillo and El Paso which have seen higher numbers of cases.

Throughout his Monday news conference Abbott continually stressed the health and safety recommendations of social distancing, wearing face masks in public and continued hand sanitizing.

He said recommendations for reopening venues such as theme parks are still being studied.

One of the key indicators Abbott said Texas leaders have been monitoring is a downward trend in the percent of positive cases among those tested, now about 5%.

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