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Southeast Texas COVID-19 updates: Jasper County announces first positive case, Orange County reports fifth

Here is a look at the latest COVID-19 headlines and updates from around Southeast Texas and the world for Sunday, March 29.


Latest local & Texas updates:

Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time):
MORE: More Saturday nation, world coronavirus updates

>>>> Read SE Texas COVID19 updates from Saturday here <<<< 

Key coronavirus updates for Sunday, March 29:

  • Hardin County investigating possible 2nd death linked to COVID-19
  • Three more people test positive in Lumberton
  • President Trump says the CDC will issue a "strong Travel Advisory" for parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey in place of quarantines, after talking about possible enforcements in the tri-state area.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, says the U.S. will certainly have “millions of cases” of COVID-19 and more than 100,000 deaths
  • Jasper County announced its first confirmed case

School Impacts | Business Impacts, ClosuresMap of SE Texas cases | Coronavirus symptoms & prevention | Coronavirus questions answered  

RELATED: Tracking COVID-19: Southeast Texas coronavirus tracking maps

MARCH 29, 8:40 p.m. — Orange County announced its fifth positive case of coronavirus on Sunday night. The patient is from the Vidor area.

MARCH 29, 7:45 p.m.  Jasper County announced its first positive coronavirus case on Sunday. The 70-year-old man showed up to Jasper Memorial Hospital 'a few days ago' with symptoms according to a Facebook post from Jasper-Newton-Sabine Counties Emergency Management. 

MARCH 29, 5:25 p.m. — President Donald Trump is extending federal guidelines recommending people stay home and away from one another for another 30 days as the coronavirus continues to spread across the country.

Trump made the announcement during a Rose Garden briefing. The guidelines, originally tagged as “15 days to slow the spread” had been set to expire Monday.

Trump had said last week he hoped to have the country “re-opened” by Easter. But public health experts sounded the alarm, saying a rollback would speed transmission, making the situation worse.

The federal guidelines recommend that older people and those with preexisting conditions stay home and away from other people, and also recommend that all Americans avoid social gatherings, work from home and steer clear of bars and restaurants. 

MARCH 29, 4:00 p.m.  City of Galveston has declared a state of emergency and will close all beaches

MARCH 29, 3:10 p.m. — A Lamar University spokesperson confirmed to 12News that a university employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. The person has been isolated at home for 11 days according to the spokesperson.

MARCH 29, 3:00 p.m. — Anyone traveling into Texas via road from Louisiana – where 151 people have died from COVID-19 – will also be required to quarantine due to an executive order issued by Gov. Abbott on Sunday. Travel associated with commercial business, military or healthcare response and infrastructure needs will be exempt from that element of the order.

The governor said the intent of that order and its expansion is to reduce "the import of COVID-19" from areas of the country where the coronavirus has had a major impact.  

MARCH 29 1:20 p.m. — A 39-year-old male Harris County Jail inmate received a positive test result for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The inmate was booked into the jail on March 17 after being arrested by the Houston Police Department for a parole violation. The inmate was placed in quarantine on March 26, after jail medical staff conducting a standard health assessment detected an elevated temperature and a high pulse rate. He is in stable condition in the medical unit at the 1200 Baker Street jail facility.

There are currently about 30 inmates in the Harris County Jail with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. About 500 inmates who were potentially exposed to the virus, but who do not have symptoms, are in quarantine for observation. So far, five inmate tests have come back negative for the virus.

MARCH 29 10:45a.m. — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says the New Orleans area is “on a trajectory" to exceed capacity on ventilators by about Apr. 4th, hospital beds by about Apr. 10th. “We are trying to get the public to slow the spread … while we ramp p our medical capacity.” 

Gov. Edwards says state is looking to retrofit other breathing devices to work as ventilators and exploring the possibilities of two people sharing a ventilator because of shortages. 

Louisiana has confirmed 3,540 cases of COVID-19 and 151 deaths in the state as of Sunday, March 29. 

MARCH 29 9:30 a.m. — The U.S. government's foremost infection disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says the U.S. will certainly have “millions of cases” of COVID-19 and more than 100,000 deaths.

He says the pandemic is such a “moving target” that it's hard to pin down such a forecast.

As the U.S. tops the world in reported infections from the new coronavirus, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases predicts 100,000-200,000 deaths from the outbreak in the U.S.

The U.S. is currently reporting more than 124,000 cases and more than 2,100 deaths.

MARCH 29 8:25 a.m. — New numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health Saturday show the state's highest single-day increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, as officials continue warning about the looming danger of overwhelming the healthcare system.

Across the state, 569 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed, bringing Louisiana to 3,315. The majority of those cases are from Orleans Parish, where the outbreak was first reported and has been the most deadly. 

MARCH 29 8:05 a.m. — Two Dallas firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total at the department to three, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue captain and president of the Dallas Firefighters Association Jim McDade.

McDade says following the positive tests results, 34 firefighters have been quarantined.

MARCH 29 7:25 a.m. — World news:  Pet owners in Serbia are furious over the populist government’s decision to ban even a brief walk for people with dogs during an evening curfew to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Angry dog owners have flooded social networks, warning that the ban could harm their dogs’ health and cause frustration and anxiety for both the animals and their owners. View more national & world updates here.

MARCH 29 6:05 a.m. — How to make sure you actually get your stimulus check: Actually receiving that payment could be a more involved process for some people - particularly people who may be most in need of it. The government doesn't exactly just send people out with money to find you - for those without readily available addresses, bank accounts and tax record, it's easy to get overlooked by the bureaucracy. Read the full story and get the details here.

MARCH 29 5:57 a.m. — U.S. News: As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows. Read more here. 

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 409-838-1212

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