COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Transcript

PNG Format Color

This Virtual Town Hall took place Thursday, April 9th @ 5pm. Participants were Mayor Randy Gorham, Councilman Tim McRae, City Manager Greg Smith, Jacksonville Police Department Chief Joe Williams, Jacksonville Police Department Captain Steven Markasky, Jacksonville Fire Department Chief Keith Fortner, Jacksonville Fire Department EMS Coordinator Alicia Whetsell, Public & Community Services Director Randall Chandler, and Grace Mikhail of Cherokee County Public Health Department. 

  • Question 1: Why isn’t Cherokee county updating us with the same information other counties are providing? City, gender, age group, hospitalized or quarantined at home. Community or travel related? 
    • Grace M.: Population density varies between cities, counties, and states. We understand the concerns of the community and we will continue to release the number of cases reported in the County. One of CCPHDs top priorities is community health and safety, this includes the health and safety of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. When and/or if there is an increase in confirmed cases reported, CCPHD will reevaluate the information being released. 
  • Question 2: If a person is tested positive, then either gets better or passes away, are they still counted in the total count for that county? Or do they drop off?
    • Grace M: Yes, case counts for are cumulative, this means that all reported positive cases of COVID-19 over time are included.
      • Active:     2
      • Recovered:     4
      • Deaths    1
      • Total:    7
      • Community acquired    4
      • Travel-related    3
  • Question 3: Why is the media still reporting 6 for Cherokee County when we received notification of 7 over 24 hrs ago? 
    • Greg S. & Grace M.: Press releases are sent to all local media outlets, and we cannot speak for the media itself. However, when a lab report is received by a healthcare provider (HCP) the positive result is reported to the local health department (LHD) or public health region (PHR), and then reported to the state. 
  • Question 4: I read online that Governor Abbot indicated yesterday that golf courses are not deemed essential and should be closed. Is the City going to comply with this? 
    • Greg S.: There was confusion from Governor Abbott’s first Executive Order dealing with golf courses. The Governor gave his opinion that golf course employees are non-essential and should not operate as essential businesses. Cherokee Ranch Golf Club is not in City of Jacksonville city limits and falls under Cherokee County jurisdiction. 
  • Question 5: My question is do you think we are on track to open non-essential back up by May 1?
    • Keith F. & Grace M.: There is no way to determine a specific date in which non-essential businesses will reopen with the fluid situation we are in. We are hopeful that we will reopen businesses, but we will continue to follow guidance from the federal and state level regarding business operations. 
  • Question 6: Currently there are a few testing sites now open to the public with no symptoms. However, these sites are not close to everyone. Most sites are only convenient for people living downtown. I’m on the NORTH side, not North West side, Oceanway, Palaski, the airport area, River city area etc. There are no sites for the folks living in this area. Will there be sites available to us as well. It seems the town only caters to downtown residents.
    • Greg S.: These are not locations in Jacksonville, Texas and it appears this question may apply to Jacksonville, Florida.