First COVID-19 death reported in Limestone County

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Officials have reported the first death due to COVID-19 in the Bi-Stone area.

On Tuesday, Limestone County Emergency Management Director Matt Groveton stated that Health Region 7 has reported the county’s first virus death. A Mexia woman in her late 50’s to early 60’s passed away due to the virus Tuesday.

“It’s suspected that [an] underlying health issue may have contributed to her death,” Groveton reported on the Emergency Management’s Facebook page. The patient was hospitalized in Mexia when she passed away.

“At this point, everyone should know the COVID-19 is in indiscriminate killer,” Groveton said. “Please follow all CDC recommendations…your life depends on it.”

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Freestone County, with the City of Fairfield also urging citizens to follow CDC and state recommendations. Fairfield and surrounding towns will be under effect of Governor Greg Abbott’s Essential Services and Activities Protocol, effective Thursday. Mayor Kenneth Hughes posted a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday explaining what this protocol means for the city, including a call to practice social distancing and to remain home as much as possible without visitors.

The city of Teague currently has seven employees on self-quarantine, after one city employee exhibited symptoms related to COVID-19 during the latter part of last week. The city is closely monitoring the employees’ condition, and the six employees that had possible exposure are not currently showing any symptoms. There has not been a confirmation of any virus case, only that symptoms were present.

Due to the quarantine, the city is working with limited staff at the moment, and will have the assistance of the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety in around-the-clock law enforcement.

Other notes:

-As of Wednesday, there were at least 3,997 cases of the coronavirus in Texas, with 58 reported deaths. 138 counties are reporting cases, including Limestone (2), Navarro (4), Leon (2) and Anderson (1).

-Despite resisting calls for a statewide shelter-in-place order, Abbott continues to make other efforts against the virus’ effect on Texans’ lives. Abbott announced the Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) Tuesday, providing meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across the state. As part of the program, participating restaurants offer CFCPs for patrons to purchase on behalf of families and youth in need. Each care package contains enough food to feed a family of 5-6, and will be delivered to recipients’ homes.

-Abbott also released a statement Wednesday regarding the recently passed $2 trillion federal stimulus package, with a special focus on unemployed workers and the state’s hardest-hit businesses. “We appreciate the speedy passage of this stimulus package designed to provide much-needed relief for hardworking Texas families who have been economically impacted by COVID-19,” Abbott said.

-Details are now emerging on two incidents on March 28, with multiple arrests made by the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office. Freestone County Sheriffs, along with assistance from Wortham Police Department, conducted a Narcotics Search Warrant in the Southern Oaks subdivision at Richland Chambers. One male subject was arrested and booked into Freestone County Jail without incident for the following, with total bond amount set at $128,000:

            -Possession of a Controlled Substance, Penalty Group One, between 1-4 grams

            -Manufacturing and Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Penalty Group One, between 1-4 grams

            -Possession of a Dangerous Drug

            -Tempering/Fabricating Physical Evidence with Intent to Impair

-In another incident March 28, FSCO Deputy Campbell took a report of a Burglary of a Habitation in the Streetman area. The victim had a security camera in place that captured images of two suspects, a male and female, and a vehicle with distinct markings. A Search Warrant was obtained for the two suspects March 30 at their residence located in the Kirvin Area. The suspects were taken into custody, with some of the stolen property recovered during the search of the residence. The Sheriffs also located liquid and crystal methamphetamine, with a total weight of 368.9 grams. Both subjects were charged with the following:

            -Possession of a Controlled Substance, Penalty Group One, between 200 and 400 grams

            -Burglary of Habitation, First Degree Felony (enhanced due to the current disaster declaration by Gov. Abbott)

-In addition, the male subject was arrested on two outstanding warrants for Aggravated Assault of a Family Household Member with a Deadly Weapon and Assault Family/Household Member Impede Breath/Circulation (also enhanced due to disaster declaration).