WOODVILLE, Texas — Tyler County has officially joined five other Southeast Texas counties in the fight against the coronavirus.

Tyler County residents who feel they need a coronavirus test can call the Southeast Texas Regional Operation Center's "health hotline" at (409)550-2536 to be pre-screened.

Once they are approved to be tested they will be sent to the drive-thru testing site at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport ion Nederland.

The county first had to get mutual aid agreements in place with the other counties according to Ken Jobe at the Tyler County Emergency Management Center.

By 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Tyler County joined Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Newton and Jasper Counties according to Jobe.

The other five Southeast Texas Counties joined together and announced a multi-county health hotline during that launched on Friday, March 20, 2020.

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Residents of the participating counties have been able to call the hotline to be pre-screened by a nurse and then referred for coronavirus testing if they meet the CDC guidelines for testing.

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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.

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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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