Cherokee County's COVID-19 rise during weekend

CHEROKEE COUNTY – An alarming trend continued on Friday when six new cases of coronavirus were reported in Cherokee County in the past 24 hours.

Currently there have been 101 positive cases in the county, with 56 recoveries.

Forty-three active cases remain, with two people having died as a result of the disease.

The figures were released late Friday afternoon by Cherokee County Public Health.

Within a one-week period, active confirmed cases of COVID-19 have doubled in Cherokee County, prompting local government officials to urge residents to remain vigilant in helping curb the spread of the virus.

Cherokee County Public Health officials commended residents for taking “their health seriously,” but implored “everyone to remain diligent in your fight against COVID-19.

“In the past week, Cherokee County has experienced a tremendous surge in new cases of this deadly virus, with the majority located in Jacksonville,” a release stated. “Therefore, we are asking the public to take this threat seriously. Continue to practice good hand hygiene, observe social distancing protocols and wear a facial covering when visiting public places. Studies have shown that the use of facial coverings greatly reduces the spread of the virus and can significantly reduce the instance of community spread.”

“It is imperative that our residents remain vigilant and continue to do their part,” said Jacksonville Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Fortner in a release issued Thursday, which noted that two new cases of the virus were confirmed inside city limits. Overall, Jacksonville has 16 active and 10 recovered cases, the release stated.

“Part of the reality of opening up our state, as ordered by Governor (Greg) Abbott in late April, is that COVID-19 cases would increase as community spread and testing increases,” it stated, adding while “the total number of cases in city limits is still less than one percent of our population, (we) would like to remind our community to stay vigilant about COVID-19, and to follow the recommended CDC guidelines. By taking personal responsibility to do your part, our citizens will minimize the potential of spread in our community, helping to keep our businesses open, protect our most vulnerable and keep our community safe.”

By implementing and maintaining simple precautions, Jacksonville Mayor Randy Gorham said all residents can help prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“I think now it is paramount that our citizens continue to take personal responsibility to minimize the risk of spread in our community,” he said. “We would much rather control the spread by each of us living responsibly, helping to keep our residents safe and our businesses open.”

Cherokee County and the Jacksonville Independent School District will host a free walk-up COVID-19 test collection on Friday, July 3.

The testing site will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will be located at the John Alexander Gymnasium, 800 Farnsworth St., site of the former Lon Morris gym.

Individuals being tested must have access to a telephone in order to receive the result of their test.


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