July 6 COVID-19 presser

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney responds to a question about enforcement of the emergency order requiring face masks in businesses while speaking Monday, July 6, 2020.

The Brazos County Health Department (BCHD) hosted a press conference on July 6 to discuss the coronavirus.

Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Seth Sullivan began the conference with the current COVID-19 statistics in the county. To date there have been 2,532 confirmed cases, 1,260 recovered patients, 34 deaths and 21,398 total COVID-19 tests performed, with 1,238 active cases and 26 hospitalizations currently. Additionally, the total bed occupancy for hospitals in Brazos County is 62 percent, and the total ICU bed occupancy is 63 percent, including patients with and without the virus. Below are some takeaways from the conference.

1. New developments in case demographics

Sullivan pointed out that 48 new cases were reported today, and 589 total cases and five deaths have been reported since the previous conference on June 29. He said 33 percent of those cases were in the 18 to 24 range, and the median age of patients hospitalized with the virus has lowered since March.

“We must continue to be vigilant with social distancing, washing our hands and wearing our face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Sullivan said.

2. Statewide mask order and enforcement

As well as local updates, Sullivan also reminded the viewers of the details of Governor Greg Abbott’s mandate, requiring all people to wear masks, with some exceptions.

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney also added that College Station will be enforcing the mask mandate with a fine of up to $250 and up to a $1,000 fine for repeated violations. Mooney also commented on the closing of bars in the county. The current order states that a business can only stay open if at least 51 percent of the revenue is from food.

“The governor’s executive order also said you do not fine until after the violator has first received a written or verbal warning to cease and desist, or simply put a mask on,” Mooney said. “That’s what we’re focusing on first, is to intercept these folks who are not compliant, [and] have a good conversation with them.”

3. Mobile testing sites

Free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available at the Brazos County Expo and will be open July 7-8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sullivan said he highly encourages people to get tested if they have symptoms or have been near a person who has tested positive for the virus. Those who wish to do so must register for a time to be tested.

“You do not have to be a resident of Brazos County to get tested,” Sullivan said. “Those with and without symptoms can be tested.”

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