The city of Iraan, in the state of Texas, was forced to close a district this week after COVID-19 infections spread through the community in a period of two weeks, informs CNN.
“We have had covid before, but never of this magnitude”said Vicky Zapata, a local resident.
According to Iraan General Hospital CEO Jason Rybolt, 119 people were tested for the virus over the course of two weeks, and 50 tested positive. With a total population of 1,200, this represents a 42% rate.
In this West Texas city there is a 14-bed hospital, no intensive care unit, specialist doctors, or respirators, which means the most staff can do is stabilize patients and transfer them to a larger medical facility, according local media.
The closest hospitals that can provide specialty services are in Midland, Odessa, and San Angelo, at least a 129 kilometers away. For this reason, it is a concern for residents that 50 people have tested positive in recent weeks.
The local school district was forced to close, after just five school days because a quarter of the staff and 16% of the students were infected or exposed to the coronavirus. The closure will last, in principle, until August 30, according to the authorities.
“In the last week, we have seen more cases of covid in staff and students than in all this year and last year, during school,” according to Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District Superintendent Tracy Canter.
The City Council has voted in favor of postponing the surcharges for late payment of water and gas services, and they have also decided to stop service interruptions for at least one month.