June 5 2020

…Harrison County hasn’t reported a new COVID-19 case since Thursday when it recorded two, which raised its total to 258.
While Gregg, Upshur and Titus counties reported increases in new COVID-19 cases Sunday, it was the third straight day of good news in Harrison County.

…2,499 total tests have been administered in the (Gregg)county as of Sunday, with 2,049 results returning negative and 129 results pending. The county has recorded 10 deaths and 86 COVID-19 recoveries.

In Upshur County, Judge Todd Tefteller said five new positive cases were identified — four in the same household — to raise his county’s total to 37.

And Titus County Judge Brian Lee said his county has recorded 33 more coronavirus cases for a total of 616.

J. Harris: Despite a large number of COVID cases in the Mt. Pleasant area, there have only been 3 related deaths. Likely, this is because the ill population is comprised of younger workers in the poultry industry and their crowded families. This would be a good population to study for recurrent infections/immunity since most of them are getting well and going back to work. 
A recent analysis by Harvard University called “Pandemic Resilience: Getting It Done” recognized officials in Smith County for a coordinated response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The document says the response “was selected due to its combined command structure among county and city governments and the local health department, which allows for a coordinated response across independent jurisdictions.”

The report, produced by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, details the work of the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center set up by Smith County, the city of Tyler and the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

The center served as a headquarters for coordinating a response among several government, health,, and private agencies.

The document notes that The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has been instrumental in helping the EOC track cases of COVID-19 in the area, as well as providing testing analysis and reporting through its Public Health Laboratory of East Texas.

In explaining the operational structure of the plan, “Pandemic Resilience” recognizes Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, Tyler Mayor Martin Heines and local officials with NET Health and the Tyler Fire Department for their leadership.

The analysis details the planning, logistics, operations and finance elements of running a successful, multi-jurisdiction pandemic response.

It said that these divisions of responsibility ensure that regulatory authority, communication, procurement, screening and testing, contact tracing and isolation of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients are all carried out efficiently and tracked accurately.

Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun, president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, says he’s proud to see officials get the recognition.

New research suggests that by September, most students will have fallen behind where they would have been if they had stayed in classrooms, with some losing the equivalent of a full school year’s worth of academic gains. Racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps will most likely widen because of disparities in access to computers, home internet connections and direct instruction from teachers.
It is just as important to improve the quality of remote learning, given the likelihood that schools in many parts of the country will face continued intermittent closures to contain the virus, and that some parents will simply choose not to send their children to classrooms before a vaccine is available.
A couple of months ago, we looked at some of Dr. Newman’s work. This short video is a practical review of COVID up to now. Thank you Rick McMinn for the information. 
“TEXAS 2036” was founded by Tom Luce in 2016, and the organization has a broad focus on six key policy areas: education and workforce, health, natural resources, infrastructure, justice and safety, and government performance. Currently, they are also concerned about COVID-19 and how it concerns the Dallas area and the rest of the state. Their education emphasis should be helpful to educators and planners. 

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