NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There are places in North Texas where stores are locked up, and schools are closed, but there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19.
State reports show no positive tests yet from Somervell, Jack or Cooke County. Residents there, however, are living under the same restrictions as locations where cases are multiplying daily.
Around the courthouse in Gainesville Thursday, a usually bustling square was all but empty. Clothing and gift stores were dark. Restaurants were closed or serving orders to-go.
At Otts Furniture store, one of the few still open because they sell appliances, Laura Otts said she didn’t get the sense anyone was pushing back on closures though because of the lack of cases. Rather, she said, people felt a responsibility to act.
“I think the majority of people are feeling if we do this, if we stay home as much as possible and we self-quarantine then the hope is we will not have a case?” she said. “Or have very few cases?”
Otts and others business owners said doors started closing even before there were official orders for non-essential companies to close to the public.
Many had personal notes, taped to windows, explaining their decision was for the health of the community.
To the west in Lindsay, it was a similar scene, with almost no one out in the town of about 1,100.
“They’ve done it at a personal sacrifice,” said Ernie Brinkley. “But I haven’t heard much complaining.”
Between six to 11 people a day are being tested for the virus, at a drive up tent set up at the North Texas Medical Center in Gainesville.
A representative confirmed Thursday an employee at a nursing facility in the area, and one at a clinic, had tested positive for the virus. Both lived outside of the county, however, so they don’t count as Cooke County cases.
“It’s bound to happen,” Brinkley said. “But we’re a little more rural, a little more spread out. Hopefully by doing these things, we can contain it.”
County Judge Jason Brinkley wrote in an email Thursday that the number of cases didn’t change the way they were approaching the situation.
“Instead, we are focusing on how the pandemic is directly impacting our health care providers, our available capacity and supplies, and on communicating to our residents the importance of complying with the restrictions in place,” he wrote.