Local updates for April 3

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Kerrville and Kerr County experienced a busy news day to wrap up an extremely busy week of local news. Here are the highlights for Friday, April 3.

Second case confirmed in Kerr County

According to news releases by Kerr County and Peterson Health, a second positive test of COVID-19 was confirmed on Friday. The case is suspected to be caused by travel and not community spread, and the individual is self-isolating at home. As is protocol for all cases, the Texas Department of State Health Services is tracking contacts and monitoring the individual.

Second case confirmed in Gillespie County

Our neighbors to the north also confirmed their second case today in Gillespie County, County Judge Mark Stroeher announced today. He emphasized that this case was caused by travel outside of Texas.

Local testing

Peterson Health will begin reporting the number of tests performed within the Peterson Regional Medical Center and Peterson Urgent Care facilities. The report will be updated each Friday on the audio update at Peterson’s COVID-19 news page. The press release stated:

As of Friday, 100 specimen have been sent out for testing. Tests are completed at the Texas Department of State Health Services or in commercial labs. Peterson Health’s Infection Prevention RN, Pam Burton explains, “I know the community is highly interested in the number of tests out there, but we can only provide the number of tests being read that were sent out from our Peterson Health facilities. Our community seems surprised by the lower than expected numbers, but we remind them that there are many physician’s offices that are doing their own screenings, and sending specimen off to the state or commercial labs. We would not have access to those numbers.” Peterson Health will update and report numbers every Friday on their audio medical recording accessed on the website.

According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order issued on March 24, every public or private entity administering texts for COVID-19 must submit daily reports of all test results, both positive and negative, to DSHS, who will share the information with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

City of Kerrville postpones elections

On March 18, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation that allowed municipalities to postpone their local elections until the November 3 general election date. Then, on Thursday, Texas Secretary of State instructed local authorities to postpone or risk a challenge in court. In an email to local election officials, a state official said:

If you don’t move your May 2nd election, you are subjecting voters to health risks and potential criminal violations. Failure to postpone your election will put your election at severe risk for an election contest.

On Friday morning, City Council officially took steps to postpone our local election to November. Current officeholders will stay in their posts until new or incumbent officeholders take the oath following November’s elections. However, the city is preserving all candidate filings and ballot order actions that have already taken place. This postponement does not have the effect of reopening candidate filing. The deadline to register to vote in the November election is October 5.

The full city council meeting is embedded below.

James Avery announces furloughs

In a press release issued Thursday, jeweler James Avery announced that they will furlough many of their manufacturing and retail associates and select corporate associates. All furloughed associates will receive health and basic life benefits through the duration of the furlough at no cost to the associate.

Reminders to #StayHomeTexas

Local officials held meetings and press conferences on Thursday to emphasize the need to abide by Governor Greg Abbott’s order to stay home except for “essential services.” The video below shows some of the local guidance.