City of Big Spring and Howard County officials were notified of 119 new positive COVID-19 test results for the week of Sept. 7, 2020. To date, Howard County and Big Spring have had a total of 403 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. The number of active cases increased from 53 to 128, an increase of 75 cases from last week. The total number of people recovered from COVID-19 also increased; we have 249 patients recovered, an increase of 41.

The dramatic increase in positive cases is attributed to an outbreak at the Federal Correctional Institution. Of the 119 new confirmed positive cases this week in Howard County, 105 are inmates at FCI Big Spring. Of the 128 active cases, 23 are Howard County residents; 105 are inmates at the FCI prison. Emergency Management expects additional positive cases from FCI to be reported in the coming days.

Unfortunately, the increase in the number of active cases has affected Howard County’s attestation of not having more than three confirmed positive active cases per 1000 residents. At this time restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters, museums and libraries must limit their capacity to 50%.

County and City officials continue to urge community members to take every precaution to protect yourself and your family members. Please continue to practice social distancing, stay home when possible, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask while in public areas. These are all things you can do to help prevent yourself and your loved ones from becoming ill from any respiratory illness including COVID-19.

On Sept. 10, 2020, Howard County officials were notified that two residents have succumbed to COVID-19 and passed away. The first patient was a 66-year-old male who was being treated outside of our jurisdiction; the second patient was a 59-year-old male that was also being treated by a doctor at an outside facility. These patients are the eleventh and twelfthCOVID-19 related deaths in Howard County.

County and City officials are saddened by this news and we extend our deepest condolences to their family members. We ask that you keep these families in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

County and City officials urge community members to take every precaution to protect yourself and your family members. Please continue to practice social distancing, stay home when possible, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask while in public areas. These are all things you can do to help prevent yourself and your loved ones from becoming ill from any respiratory illness including COVID-19.

Managing Editor

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