Abilene-Taylor Co. Public Health Director shares outlook for COVID-19 as flu season approaches

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District’s Director encourages residents to maintain social distancing and hygiene standards to help reduce all viral transmission as cold and flu season approaches.

“We’ve definitely come a long way. I think we’ve learned to coexist with COVID,” said Annette Lerma, Director of the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District.

Lerma says faster testing results have led to a better response for contact tracing, but with COVID symptoms being similar to cold and flu, the job for health professionals is likely to be even tougher come this fall and winter.

“The health providers definitely have a task on their hands, ‘What is the best test? What do I appropriately treat?” said Lerma.

Another concern for health leaders is a possible spike in cases after students go back to school.

With several Abilene campuses already reporting positive cases, Lerma says more are expected to be found, but the health district and schools are working together to stop further spread.

“They [the schools] have been extremely responsive as soon as they get some information. They have partnered with us and act on things very quickly. We’re hoping we can contain it enough to where it doesn’t get to the point where it doesn’t overwhelm our healthcare system,” said Lerma.

The full interview with Director Lerma will run this Sunday morning at 6:30 am on Big Country Politics.


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