Hunt County Commissioners Court offered the Hunt Regional Medical Center a financial helping hand in helping to distribute vaccines for COVID-19.
The commissioners also voted Tuesday to extend the county’s emergency resolution in response to the virus for another two weeks.
Hunt Regional Healthcare CEO Richard Carter said in a letter issued Friday that the local hospital had been overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases and also detailed the issues the facility was having in providing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Carter said he had reached out to County Judge Bobby Stovall about developing a COVID vaccine task force.
“… and he is working diligently to get the task force operational and design a system to administer large quantities of the vaccine to Hunt County residents,” Carter added. ”We are also hopeful that a distribution network is in development by the state for mass community distribution.”
During Tuesday’s regular session, the commissioners met in executive session for about 45 minutes before returning, when Stovall offered a resolution establishing the creation of a line item in the current county budget specifically for vaccination distribution and designating $50,000 in contingency funding. The measure passed on a unanimous vote of the commissioners present.
The commissioners voted Dec. 22 to extend the order closing the Hunt County Courthouse, except by appointment only. The extension was in effect until Tuesday’s regular court session. The commissioners voted to extend the measure again until the next regular session, scheduled on Jan. 26
Trauma Service Area E, a 19-county region of North Texas, which includes Hunt County, continues to match the definition of high hospitalizations under Governor’s order GA-32; namely that it has more than had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent.
As a result, all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries in all counties in Trauma Service Area E are required to remain at maximum 50 percent occupancy levels.
Trauma Service Area E was reporting the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity was at 27.1 percent as of Sunday.