5-20-2020 – Updated COVID 19 Numbers and Information for the Texarkana Area


The COVID 19 numbers in Texarkana remain steady with the pace of recoveries higher than the spread of infection. The local COVID 19 numbers are, Bowie County has 116 positive cases, 78 recoveries, and 11 deaths. Cass County has reported 26 cases with 20 recoveries, and Miller County last reported 42 positive cases, 1 death, and 37 recoveries.

Now the paper reported yesterday that Bowie County saw an increase of more than 20 cases in a 24-hour period. That was a little misleading in the fact that it was a matter of the way the State of Texas changed the way they were tracking inmates. In the beginning, inmates at state prisons were not counted in the county of the institution they are housed, but the inmate’s county of origin. Now, the TDCJ will begin counting inmates that test positive to the county of the institution where they are locked up.

Media Release:

TEXAKANA, TX—Bowie County Emergency Operations Center reports a total of 116 positive COVID-19 cases, with 78 recoveries and 11 related deaths. Cass County has a total 26 cases with 20 recoveries.

The Emergency Operations Center has been keeping a running total of cases since March 16, 2020. During the past nine weeks, the situation relating to COVID-19 has rapidly evolved and changed from day-to-day. Under the direction of Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell, Texarkana, Texas Mayor Bob Bruggeman and Local Health Authority Dr. Matt Young, the EOC has made decisions about how to count positive cases, what data is available to maintain, and what key indicators to track based on information reported to the operation. This data is collected from local health facilities, private physicians, clinics and healthcare providers in the region, and the identity of patients is strictly protected. Contact tracing is an on-going effort made possible by the Bowie County and Texarkana, Texas Office of Emergency Management and the Texarkana Texas Police

Earlier in the week, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services made a change in the way positive cases were reported on their COVID-19 dashboard for the entire state of Texas. They began adding positive cases at correctional facilities to the county counts.

While Telford Correctional Facility employees who live in Bowie County and test positive for COVID-19 have always been counted in the Bowie County total, it is impossible to count offenders in that total number because the state does not provide a report to the local EOC, and the offender population is frequently moved around from facility to facility within the state without notice depending on their health, security requirements, staffing levels and other factors.

If an offender who is COVID positive is transferred by ambulance out of the facility and to a local hospital, then they are added to our “hospitalized count”, and if an offender succumbs to the virus, they are then added to our fatality count if they died in a local hospital. Otherwise, the total of offenders who are positive for COVID-19 will not be added to the local case count for Bowie County. Texas Department of Criminal Justice offender information related to COVID-19 can be found at https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/covid-19/offender_mac.html.

In addition, the local EOC has been asked to provide the Texas Department of Health and Human Services with information related to lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in our county so that their COVID –19 dashboard can be updated with verified information from our local efforts. In the beginning of this pandemic, the local EOC was instructed to seek information from private labs and healthcare providers and keep records of positive cases. The Bowie County/Texarkana, Texas Emergency Operations Center built relationships, and kept accurate data on these cases, and has now been asked to provide that information to the state. A large jump in the numbers provided by Texas DSHS can be attributed to an addition of correctional facility offender cases, and a “true-up” by DSHS using local data to update their case totals.

Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday that gyms and exercise facilities, child care facilities, and massage, personal care and beauty services may begin opening immediately. Office buildings and manufacturers may open up at 25% of the total workforce. Youth Clubs may begin to meet again today, with no more than 10 at a time while maintaining a six feet social distance. The Governor also announced that youth sports may begin practicing on May 31, 2020 with one guardian or parent accompanying. The Governor’s protocols for Youth Sports specifies that games or competitions cannot be held until June 15, 2020. Spectators should maintain at least 6 feet social distancing from individuals not within the spectator’s group.

According to the Governor’s plans to reopen Texas, bowling alleys, bingo halls and bars may begin reopening on Friday, May 22, 2020.

More details regarding Governor Abbott’s announcement on reopening can be found at

The deadline for the Business Survey to gauge Economic Impact has been extended. All businesses in Bowie County are invited to submit a survey, to report positive or negative impacts to their business. The deadline is May 29, 2020 and the survey can be accessed at

Residents in Bowie and Cass County are urged to continue following Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders and following CDC guidelines for social distancing, handwashing, and sanitizing.

The latest local information and updates can all be found at www.coronatxk.org. The local hotline telephone number is (903) 255-5560.


About Author

After more than 30 years with radio and TV stations, I decided to do my own thing by blogging. It affords me the ability to stay super involved in the community, but still, have plenty of time with my 3 new granddaughters and other local projects.

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