Daily Update Archives

MAY 6, 2020


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Texas Case Data



Wise County Case Data



Press Conference Governor Greg Abbott

Tuesday, May 5th 2020

Hair salons and barber shops will be allowed to open this Friday (5/8/2020) as long as they follow the rules aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.


Hair salons, cosmetology salons, nail businesses and tanning salons must adhere to rules that include only one customer per stylist, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet from the next station and people waiting for service must also maintain the 6-foot social distancing or wait outside. The governor strongly recommended both the stylist and customer wear masks due to the close proximity required and recommended calling ahead for appointments.


Abbott also announced that gyms and exercise facilities can reopen on May 18 with certain restrictions. “For the initial time period, showers and locker rooms will remain closed during the first phase of reopening,” Abbott said. “All equipment must be disinfected after each use, and customers must wear gloves.” People who bring their own equipment, such as yoga mats, will also be required to sanitize the items before and after use. Social distancing rules will also be in effect in those facilities.


Abbott said the new actions do not require these businesses to open, but it gives them the ability to do so when they are ready. The governor also clarified certain items contained in his executive order from last week, saying that funerals, memorials, burials and weddings should follow the same guidelines as church services. That includes encouraging those venues to provide online services and designating areas reserved for those in a high-risk population such as those 65 years old and over.


For wedding receptions, those venues should follow the same guidelines as restaurants, Abbott said.


Non-essential manufacturing facilities will also be allowed to open May 18 with 25 percent occupancy and staggered work schedules along with social distancing or social engineering controls such as Plexiglas between work stations.


Office buildings will be allowed to open May 18 with the greater of the following two numbers: five employees or 25 percent of the workforce with social distancing. Credit: https://www.wcmessenger.com/


For more information, visit www.gov.texas.gov/opentexas.




We are in this together. Be safe, be sanitary! Call us if you need us.



Nathan R. Mara

Fire Chief | EMC


City of Decatur Fire Department

Office of Emergency Management

1705 South State Street

Decatur, TX 76234


Office 940-393-0230


MAY 1, 2020


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Wise County 
Social Media message from Judge JD Clark
“UPDATE: We have still not been confirmed/cleared for 50% capacity and have received conflicting information from the regional DSHS office and the state DSHS office. We will continue to work on this issue to get a clear answer. At present, businesses should plan for 25% capacity in the morning, and we will continue to update info as we have it.”

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City of Decatur
During a series of meetings over the past few days your city leaders have decided to extend the City’s Disaster Declaration, putting Decatur in line with the latest order from Governor Abbott. Also in taking this action, we are maintaining continuity with our partners across the county.

Mayor Woodruff signed “Executive Order No. 2” Thursday, to take effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight. We know that there is some ambiguity and confusion in the flurry of orders and declarations from the state, the counties, and the city, here is a summary of how we will proceed:

  • City Council, Commissions and Boards may begin meeting again, but only following the approval of the Mayor.
  • City Hall is still open, and City staff is still working hard to provide you with the same excellent level of service.
  • Uniform screening processes will be in place at all city owned and operated buildings (5/4/20).
  • Our City is not accepting any new applications for plats or plans for development until further notice.
  • Our City’s Conference center will remain closed until further notice.
  • The Public Library will resume holds, mobile print pickup services and a limited number of mobile hotspots available for checkout Monday (5/4/20). For more information, visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.
  • Play equipment in our parks will be off limits but walking trails will be open.
  • Outdoor sports are ok with 4 or less participants (Golf, Tennis, etc.)
  • Social gatherings of 10 or more persons are still not allowed.
  • Per the governor’s order, retail shops, restaurants and theaters will be allowed to open at limited capacity in the city. Social distancing requirements of keeping 6-foot spacing will remain in effect.
  • At the time of this email, store owners should only prepare for 25% occupancy capacity. According to our County partners, the paperwork and associated processes through the state have not been confirmed to allow 50% occupancy.

The Governor’s Please Report to Open Texas can be found at:

For more information and resources about COVID-19, please visit:

We will continue to closely monitor the situation as it relates to COVID19, and follow the guidance issued by Governor Abbott and our Wise County partners, to determine if and when city facilities may open safely.

Please be assured that we will always take a deliberate, and safety-conscience approach when making decisions to re-open services and facilities. I encourage all employees and residents to continue to be vigilant in reducing the potential spread of the virus. Continuing social distancing while you are around others, wash or disinfect your hands often, and stay home if you are sick. We will all get through this, but we must work together in a thoughtful, deliberate way. You are all doing a tremendous job of helping our community. We are grateful.

Please call our office if you have questions or concerns.

Be well and stay safe!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

APRIL 27, 2020


public information dashboard screen shot 4-24-2020

Public Information Dashboard: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/publish?EQBCT=4c5dcf94db8847309d55db076851eb44&fbclid=IwAR1onV3zLAKMkXu4h85uD9kDRE3C-9NS86Qsm55gh6VCBBgH-rSIRDHFHts

This dashboard released to share COVID-19 testing data at the Wise County level. President Trump and Governor Abbott have said that reopening will be based on “supporting data”.

The county has committed to publishing data and will continue to actively share that information with their government partners and, most importantly, with our citizens.

Wise Health System (WHS)
A message from WHS social media –
“NEW UPDATED CRITERIA for Drive Thru Testing: We have reduced the criteria for our Drive Thru Testing facility in Bridgeport.
A phone screening will still be required prior to determining if testing requirements have been met.
Call 940-600-4969 to see if you meet the requirements. 
For more information please see the flyer for updated testing criteria and additional information.”testing criteria 4-24-2020

Texas Actions
-National Guard
National Guard members were on site assisting with unloading and dispersing food from a Tarrant Area Food Bank truck at Wise Health System.
A Drive Thru Food Pantry was open from 4-5:30pm today at the main hospital campus at: 609 Medical Center Drive here in Decatur.

-Governor Abbott
When will we learn more about the governor’s plan to re-open Texas?
Governor Abbott said that he will unveil several new orders at a press conference on Monday, April 27th 2020. We all look forward to hearing his direction.

Remain calm, we will get through this and normalize again!
Continue to get the facts from reliable sources to help you accurately determine your risks so that you can take reasonable precautions.

  • Stay home if you can.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Wear a mask if you must go out.
  • Keep away from crowded stores or areas.
  • Screen yourself for temperature or other signs of illness.

Enjoy our upcoming beautiful weekend.

Call us if you need us! Be well and stay safe!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

APRIL 22, 2020


Texas Cases as of 4/21/2020texas cases as of 4-21-2020

Wise County COVID19 Impact Data 4/21/2020cpounty impact data 4-21-2020

Texas “Peak” Data 4/21/2020peak data 4-21-2020

Wise Health System (WHS)

Our local hospital has done a TREMENDOUS job preparing and planning for this pandemic. They have gone above and beyond to ensure they are serving this community. The message below and included video link highlights some of their amazing efforts.

A message from WHS social media – “Wise Health System is OPEN and here to CARE for you! The percentage of our community coming in through our ER to seek treatment for Heart Attacks, Strokes and other critical ailments has significantly declined the last few weeks. Waiting too long to be seen could have serious impacts on your future health. Please watch this video (https://youtu.be/Hum1UtIX5Zk) to learn more about the measures we have in place to protect our staff and our patients from being exposed to COVID-19 and how we make sure you can keep in touch with your family while admitted to the hospital.”food pantry

Wise County Actions
Public Information Dashboard: 
New dashboard released to share COVID-19 testing data at the Wise County level. President Trump and Governor Abbott have said that reopening will be based on supporting data. The county has committed to publishing data and will continue to actively share that information with their government partners and, most importantly, with the citizens.

When this data dashboard was released, Judge JD Clark published – “The data is showing that we can begin to reopen businesses with safety protocols and an emphasis on personal responsibility. As we continue to complete more testing, we do expect positives (and negatives, of course) to increase. The more important data to watch is the percentage of positive tests relative to the total tests completed. For Wise County, our positive test ratio is currently 1.59%. The state positive test ratio is 10.27%. Wise County has tested 1.10% of the population, whereas Texas has tested 0.65% of the population.”

Snapshot of Wise County data reported on 4/20/2020
county data reported 4-20-2020

Texas Actions
-National Guard
The Texas National Guard is mobilizing more than 1,200 personnel as COVID19 mobile testing teams (MTT). The areas for these MTTs are identified by Texas Department of State Health Services and coordinated with Texas Division of Emergency Management to expand and ramp up testing capabilities in Texas.

-Governor Abbott
Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Orders announced April 17, 2020, are aimed at beginning the process of reopening the state of Texas.

The Governor’s Executive Order (GA-17) relates to the establishment of a Strike Force to Open Texas—a team of nationally recognized medical experts and private and public leaders who will advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas. There will be a lot of moving parts to this.

The Governor’s Executive Order (GA-16) relates to the safe, strategic reopening of select services and activities in Texas. This order establishes a temporary "Retail-To-Go" model that will allow retail outlets in Texas to reopen beginning Friday, April 24. Under this model, reopened establishments are required to deliver items to customer’s cars, homes, or other locations to minimize contact.

Under this Executive Order, schools—including public, private, and higher education institutions—will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers may go into the classroom for video instruction, to perform administrative duties, and to clean out their classrooms.

The Governor’s Executive Order (GA-15) relates to hospital capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the COVID-19 response. The order loosens restrictions on surgeries put in place by Governor Abbott in March. Beginning at 11:59pm on April 21 through 11:59pm on May 8, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities must continue to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without timely performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death as determined by a patient’s physician.

Exceptions now include:

  • Any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the PPE needed to cope with COVID-19, or

  • Any surgery or procedure performed in a licensed health care facility that has certified in writing to Texas HHSC both:

  • (1) that it will reserve at least 25% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients, and

  • (2) that it will not request any PPE from any public source—whether federal, state, or local—for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster.

The Governor also directed state parks to reopen on Monday, April 20 with strict guidelines to reduce transmission of COVID-19—including requiring visitors to wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and prohibiting the gathering of groups larger than five.

You can view this information and more in detail here: https://gov.texas.gov/coronavirus Again, a lot of moving pieces, Governor Abbott is expected to issue new executive orders on April 27th.

We are not in an area where COVID19 is “spreading rapidly”. In general, people have not traveled from an area where COVID19 is spreading and or have not been in contact with an infected patient. This means our risks of infection are low. Not 0.

It is understandable that our community may feel anxious about the outbreak. With the conversations of “reopening” we share some of your anxiety!

Remain calm, we will get through this and normalize again! Continue to get the facts from reliable sources to help you accurately determine your risks so that you can take reasonable precautions.

  • Stay home if you can.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Wear a mask if you must go out.
  • Keep away from crowded stores or areas.
  • Screen yourself for temperature or other signs of illness.

Call us if you need us! Be well and stay safe!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

April 17, 2020


Wise County has confirmed seven coronavirus cases, including two new positive tests as of Tuesday evening. The seven total COVID-19 cases includes one patient recovery. The county has tested 610 people, including 475 negative, 120 pending and eight inconclusive.

There have been confirmed patients in five zip codes in the county, including two in 76234 (which includes Decatur) and two in 76431 (which includes Chico). Other cases are confirmed in 76073 (Paradise area), 76078 (Rhome area) and 76426 (Bridgeport area).

Don’t Fall For the Latest Scam

The Inspector General’s office is warning people not to fall for a scam that threatens to shut down a person’s Social Security benefits due to coronavirus.

People have reported they are getting fraudulent letters threatening a suspension of their benefits because of COVID-19-related office closures, the Inspector General of Social Security, Gail Ennis, said in a press release. The Social Security Administration will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed. The fake letters tell Social Security beneficiaries to call a phone number to ensure they get their benefits. The scammers then try to mislead callers into giving out personal information or payments via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency or by mailing cash. If you receive a letter, text, call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about an alleged problem with your Social Security number, account or payments, hang up or do not respond, the Inspector General’s office said. People should report any suspected scams to law enforcement.

Wise Health System (WHS)

From WHS Social Media – 
Updated Testing Measures
“Great News! Wise Health System launched in-house COVID-19 testing for admitted patients today! The new testing will allow for physicians to receive results within an hour, compared to current testing capabilities with third party vendors, which take on average of 48 hours or longer to receive results. Watch the video to learn more (https://youtu.be/NzcBSx1seNw)”

From WHS Social Media – 
New Technology, Telehealth 
“See 𝙔𝙊𝙐𝙍 doctor in the comfort of 𝙔𝙊𝙐𝙍 own home through a secure Telehealth appointment. Wise Health Clinic providers are now seeing patients via telephone or video using your 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐫. Call your provider today or learn more at www.WiseHealthClinics.com 


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. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Be calm, wash your hands!

Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are sick, older, and/or have a medical condition. If you are sick, stay home except to access medical care. If you are able to take care of yourself, stay home. If you need to see your doctor, call ahead. Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and non-essential trips into public. Cancel events of more than 10 people. Limit close contact (at least six feet) with other people. Employers should allow alternative work options as much as possible.

We are all in this together, please let us know if you need anything.

Be safe and stay well!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

April 14, 2020

AS OF APRIL 13, 2020 AT 5:11 PM

We have been catching up and following the COVID19 situation all day. Our community response is working, this is evidenced by simply comparing the Texas data to the rest of the United States. We want to point out that Texas has more than 2,250 recovered cases of COVID19.

In the United States there are over 570,000 cases of COVID19. This is an increase of more than 127,000 cases over the weekend. In the United States there are over 23,000 documented fatalities related to COVID19.

Wise County has 5 confirmed COVID19 cases as of this report.

Texas Data 4/13/2020
More than 2,000 new Texas cases since Friday.
More than 60 deaths in Texas over the weekend. 

Texas data 4-13-2020

We have had a number of questions involving data relative to COVID19. 
Below you will see demographic information on confirmed Texas cases.

The included hospital information is from our Trauma Service Area E and covers items such as: total hospital beds,
available beds, available ICU beds, available ventilators and lab-confirmed COVID19 patient current in hospitals. 

Governor Abbott Extends Disaster Declaration For COVID-19
Governor Greg Abbott, Sunday, issued a proclamation extending his Disaster Declaration for all Texas counties in response to COVID-19. Originally issued on March 13th, the Disaster Declaration provides the state a number of resources to effectively serve Texans as the Lone Star State continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

This action was done in an attempt to ensure that resources, such as PPE, continue to be provided in Texas. Here is a quote from Governor Abbot that explains his views:

"By extending my Disaster Declaration, we are ensuring the state of Texas continues to have adequate resources and capabilities to support our communities and protect public health," said Governor Abbott.

NEW Exposure or Potential Exposure Guide from CDC

Critical Infrastructure workers who have had an exposure but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:

  • Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
  • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
  • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
  • Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
  • Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.

Prevention of COVID-19

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID‑19. The best way to prevent infection is to take steps to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the steps you take to avoid the flu.

DSHS recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus, including COVID‑19:

  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
  • If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

DSHS also recommends that everyone practice social distancing. Social distancing involves staying away from other people to avoid catching or spreading illness. It’s a fancy term for avoiding crowds and minimizing physical contact. This could mean skipping the handshake, and/or staying at least six feet away from others. Additionally, the CDC recommends using simple cloth face coverings in public to help slow the spread of the virus.


According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), part of the University of Washington, we are expected to see peak case numbers around April 26th 2020 in Texas.

Keep up the good work! Continue to be necessary in your travel and diligent with your hygiene!

Please reach out if you have questions or concerns.

Be safe and well!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

April 13, 2020


4-9-2020 oem update

Situation in U.S.

Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is in the acceleration phase of the pandemic. The duration and severity of each pandemic phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.

We get a lot of questions about “The Peak” or “When is this over”…

Here is a calculation from IHME based on hospital resource use in Texas.the peak

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

Independent population health research center at UW Medicine, part of the University of Washington, that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.

Link to COVID19 More Projections: https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

CDC Recommends

Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:

  • · CDC is recommending the use of a cloth face covering to keep people who are infected but do not have symptoms from spreading COVID-19 to others.

  • · The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

  • · The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Medical face masks are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

  • · The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

  • · We continue to recommend that people try keep about 6 feet between themselves and others.

If you need anything, please reach out.

Be safe and well.

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

April 7, 2020


Over the Weekend

1946 new Texas Cases

50 new Texas Deaths

Texas 211

Texans can dial 2-1-1 (option 6) for information on COVID-19 and local community resources on health care, utilities, food, housing and more. www.211texas.org

Wise Health System (WHS)

****Social Media Release, April 4th 2020***

“Wise Health System’s contracted third-party laboratory vendor notified us today that a patient in our care that was tested for COVID-19 resulted as a positive case. The patient was identified as a potential patient under investigation (PUI) from the moment the patient presented at the hospital, therefore appropriate precautions during the patient’s entire stay have been taken and no other patient, visitor or employee exposure is anticipated.

Wise Health System has been providing our daily testing and results information to the Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office/ Office of Emergency Management, as well as other required agencies.

Wise Health System has been actively preparing for COVID-19 since early January. Our COVID-19 team has been meeting daily to discuss supplies, logistics, emergency management processes and protocols, and other necessary measures to ensure the health of our patients, visitors and employees.

Additionally, out of abundance of caution and in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines Wise Health System actively screens patients prior to admission, has enacted a no visitor policy and all staff are wearing masks or other proper PPE suited to their job, to minimize risk of exposure within our facility.”

Further Updates from WHS

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Learn more here: https://www.wisehealthsystem.com/health-topic/covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR2VWJ5kzNjT7u-QESH2Baq2Em9ldHJFzZdpzC3xoIXGdlsKoTyLnFPq0nw

Clean Your Hands Often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

What You Need To Know About Handwashing https://youtu.be/d914EnpU4Fo

Police & Fire 

April 2020 Public Safety and COVID19

VIDEO LINK: https://www.facebook.com/decaturtxfd/videos/666113880804097/

This is the second episode of our Public Safety Monthly video program. This is a collaboration between the Police Department and Fire Department. Our April 2020 episode covers frequently asked questions, precautions agencies are utilizing as well as best practices for our community to deal with the pandemic.

Have questions or concerns? Would you like to see us cover another topic?

Please reach out to us via social media, email or give us a call.

Decatur Police Department
Non-Emergency Phone: 940-393-0300

Decatur Fire Department
Non-Emergency Phone: 940-393-0230


As the world responds to Covid-19, country after country is faced with the need to contain the spread of the virus at the cost of bringing its society and economy to a standstill.

At face value there is a trade-off to make: either save lives or save livelihoods. This is a false dilemma – getting the virus under control is a prerequisite to saving livelihoods.

Please reach out to our office if you have need or questions.

Be safe and well.

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

April 6, 2020

AS OF APRIL 3, 2020 AT 5:17 PM

As of this report, there are a total of 3 confirmed cases in the county.

Wise Health Battling Fake News

From WHS Social Media  
“FAKE Social Media Posts & Information- Last night Wise Health System was made aware of two instances of individuals providing false information out on social media. One was from a woman that claimed to know a "nurse" at our hospital that shared we had positive cases in our hospital. Another was from an individual that created a fake profile claiming to be an employee at our hospital and providing more false information.

Unfortunately, the person who created the fake profile also used the name of an actual employee. Please know that the information was not posted by any of our employees.

Please share information from reputable sources. There are no conspiracy theories. Our testing and results information is being reported daily to the County. There are people out there that enjoy preying on the fears of those in our community. If you have questions, please message us on Facebook. We are in this together.”

Drive Through in Bridgeport

Criteria Updates for Drive Thru Testing: Screening is now available for all ages 2+ and to areas surrounding Wise County. Please see the flyer for additional testing criteria and information.

Wise County COVID-19 Testing Site and Criteria


It is understandable that you may feel anxious about the outbreak. Get your facts from reliable sources to help you accurately determine your risks so that you can take reasonable precautions. Seek guidance from credible sources such as those on our website or your healthcare provider. It is important to be informed of the situation and take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your family.

We will monitor over the weekend and report any critical breaking news.

Thank you, be safe and well!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management

2 April 2020

Wise County Case Numbers Update

Beginning on 4/1/2020, the Wise County Office of Emergency Management is posting (on social media) daily testing numbers for all of Wise County COVID19 test results. This is in line with Wise County Judge JD Clark’s executive order requiring providers / clinics in Wise County to report COVID19 testing data. Please note Wise Health System (Hospital) testing and results will be included in this report. Link to Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office/ Office of Emergency Management

How Easily the Virus Spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs

When Should I Wear a Facemask

If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

The CDC may soon recommend that everyone (wishing to) wear face coverings in public settings, like pharmacies and grocery stores, to avoid unwittingly spreading the virus. Public health officials have stressed that N95 masks should be saved for front line EMS, Fire, Police, Doctors and Nurses, who have been in dire need of protective gear.

Clean and Disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.


City of Decatur COVID19 Resource Page

City of Decatur Alert Center (Executive Orders Etc.)

Resources From Representative Phil King


COVID19 has transformed our lives nearly overnight. Suddenly, we’re bombarded with messages: Stay home, shelter in place, avoid sick people, flatten the curve, not enough ventilators, you may be a carrier for days without symptoms. It’s no wonder people all over the world have a higher collective stress level than any time in modern history. Please don’t panic, utilize basic hygiene principals and trust only quality sources of information.

I want to reassure you that we are here for you and will do whatever it takes to keep you safe.

Stay safe and be well.

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief | EMC
City of Decatur Fire Department
Office of Emergency Management
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

1 April 2020

As of this report, there are a total of 3 confirmed cases in the county.

Disaster Order Renewed

County Judge J.D. Clark’s disaster declaration and executive order were extended seven days by county commissioners in a special meeting Tuesday. Although the details of the order are the same, stronger language has been added directing essential businesses to more strictly enforce social distancing and sanitization. There is also additional language telling people to stay home as much as possible and laying out more strict guidelines for people who have experienced COVID-19 symptoms.

The order still includes the following: gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited; the dining rooms of restaurants and bars are closed; only essential businesses may remain open; and retail suppliers should use common sense rationing household products and groceries that are in limited supply.

School Closure Extended

Wise County schools will be closed through the month of April. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced in his latest executive order Tuesday that all of the state’s schools will remain closed until May 4 due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19.

Over Crowding in Large Stores

Through our Police and Fire Departments unified efforts we are seeking voluntary compliance relative to increasing the use of best practices aimed at limiting opportunities for community spread of COVID19. We are asking stores to reduce their occupancy by 50%. Meaning if a business is allowed (by code) to have 100 persons (max) inside their establishment they should now only allow 50.

We are committed to helping them with signage, education, social media outreach, etc. Whatever it takes to build and maintain a relationship to protect each business and our community.

This applies to retailers selling essential household goods with immense public demand. These retailers are being asked to take proactive steps to provide, regulate and encourage social distancing, sanitization and limiting opportunities for community spread of COVID19.

Testing and Data

All data regarding testing done in Wise County will be reported to the public through the County Judge. Wise Health System informed me today they are adjusting their lab options and should begin to see faster turnaround on case results. By the end of this week we hope to be providing additional info on testing and or tested numbers.

Be Aware of Scams

Please see the attached document for the top recognized scams related to COVID19. We hate to report this. Unfortunately, we are seeing some of this slowly trickling through our community. Anything that seems out of place regarding COVID19 and purchasing or banking info, stop and call Decatur PD.

Stay home when you are sick!

If you feel unwell or have the following symptoms, fever, cough, or shortness of breath, stay home and do not go to work. I have included flyers in English and Spanish for your work area.

Who is Texas 211 ?

2-1-1 Texas, a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. Whether by phone or internet, our goal is to present accurate, well-organized and easy-to-find information from state and local health and human services programs. We accomplish this through the work of our 25 Area Information Centers (AICs) across the state. 2-1-1 Texas is a free, anonymous social service hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905, and find information about resources in your local community. Whether you need help finding food or housing, child care, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment, one number is all you need to know.

We are here to help, call if you need us!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief
Decatur Fire Department
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

30 March 2020


Our first “confirmed” case came to us over the weekend. This first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Wise County has no known travel history and no known previous contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient. This indicates that there is likely community spread of COVID-19 in Wise County. All residents should be aware that any public interaction can present potential exposure risks. Please stay at home as much as possible and limit interactions to essential business. Take all proper and necessary precautions.

Per local disaster declaration and executive order, the patient and all members of the household are isolated at home until cleared by a medical professional (via testing).

Local Action taken Today 

Today Judge JD Clark issued an additional executive order. This requires providers/clinics in Wise County, in addition to reporting to the State, to report COVID-19 testing data locally. The data reported will be the total number of tests administered, the total number of positive tests, the total number of negative tests, and the total number of tests still pending results.

By reporting this data daily, we will have a more current local understanding of how many total tests have been administered in Wise County and, of those, how many are positive and negative. The Judge is asking everyone to begin reporting the data tomorrow 3/31/2020.

I am confident this will help with understating numbers in our area overall.

State Actions taken over the Weekend

Yesterday Governor Abbott detailed the joint effort between the state, the Texas Military Department (TMD), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to identify and equip additional locations to serve as health care facilities in the event that hospital capacity is exhausted. The first of these sites will be the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

Also, the Governor issued two new Executive Orders to protect public safety and further combat the spread of COVID-19 in Texas.

In the first Executive Order (GA-12) announced, the Governor mandated a 14-day quarantine for road travelers arriving in Texas from any location in Louisiana. The self-quarantine procedure will mirror the process outlined in the Governor’s previous Executive Order requiring mandatory self-quarantine for air travelers from the New York Tri-State Area and New Orleans, Louisiana. This mandated quarantine will not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions.

In the second Executive Order (GA-13) announced, the Governor prohibited the release of individuals in law enforcement custody for or with a history of offenses involving physical violence or the threat of physical violence. This Executive Order comes in response to concerns of the release or anticipated release of individuals because of COVID-19 who are deemed a danger to society.

Risk of Exposure

The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states. People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of risk dependent on the location. Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure. Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.


Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is in the acceleration phase of the pandemic. The duration and severity of each pandemic phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.

US Confirmed COVID19 cases are over 140,000 which is an increase of over 55,000 since Friday.

US Confirmed COVID19 deaths are over 2,400 which is an increase of over 1,450 since Friday.

Call us if you have questions or concerns.

Stay home, wash your hands!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief

28 March 2020

The Texas Department of State Health Services has notified Wise County’s Local Health Authority Dr. Jon Walker that we have our first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Wise County resident.

No other details about this patient will be made available at this time. All health and safety precautions and protocols are being taken as it relates to this individual.

Please, exercise personal responsibility to help limit the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home as much as possible, practicing hygiene and sanitation measures, avoiding non-essential public exposure, and practicing social distancing.

Take care.

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief
Decatur Fire Department
1705 South State
Decatur, Texas 76234

27 March 2020

Today’s “TX Update” confirmed over 23,500 cases have been tested in Texas. There are 1,731 cases of COVID19 in Texas. None in Wise County, as of this email. This is an increase of more than 333 cases from what was reported yesterday. Unfortunately, Twenty Three Texas COVID19 deaths have been reported to date. In the United States there are over 85,356 cases and almost 1,246 deaths.

Live TEXAS Case Count

Visit the COVID-19 case dashboard found here: https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83

WHS offers COVID-19 drive-thru testing


COVID-19 drive-thru testing is now available at Wise Health System for individuals who meet certain criteria. Starting today, WHS is administering tests 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by APPOINTMENT ONLY at WHS-Bridgeport Hospital, 1905 Medical Center Drive.

CALL 940-600-4969 for screening and to make an appointment.

*If you show up without an appointment, you will be turned away.

PPE for First Responders 

Here is the message we get as a department when asking for Protective Equipment.

“The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is unable to fill this request. Per DSHS, with the evolving novel coronavirus situation causing a global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), DSHS is unable to fill your STARs related to PPE. We understand that there is a global shortage of PPE, and DSHS does not maintain a public PPE stockpile. We are encouraging hospitals and other health care facilities to conserve their supplies as much as possible.”

Travel Under Current Declaration

  • There are no requirements for any essential service workers to carry any qualifying documents while traveling within Wise County, or its cities.
  • Law Enforcement will not stop motorists for the sole purpose of verifying their purpose for travel.
  • Wise County is not under a “Shelter in Place” order.

Importance of following recommendations regarding social distancing 

  • The current declaration places certain restrictions on travel and commerce in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
  • These effects could be economically devastating if they must continue for an extended period.
  • Strict compliance by citizens in the short term will reduce this strain on our businesses and workers going forward.
  • The COVID-19 virus poses a serious threat of completely overwhelming our health system.
  • The availability of staff, PPE, and other resources simply can’t keep up with the potential patient count, if we don’t stop/slow the spread.

Testing and Treatment for possible/confirmed COVID-19 patients

  • Reminder to our citizens that 911 and EMS’ primary purpose is response to emergent medical calls that are an immediate threat to life and health.
  • If the symptoms an individual has are not life threatening at the current time, their first call should be their primary care physician.
  • County offices and agencies do not have the ability to test an individual for COVID-19. This also should be handled through your primary care physician.

Quality Sources of Information

Preemptive dissemination of quality, timely information is the best way to combat misinformation and gossip. The following are sources of credible information regarding the COVID-19 situation:

**All of the above organizations have active social media accounts with pertinent information regarding COVID-19. Some of the state and federal agencies also have social media toolkits on their websites.


Stay home, wash your hands.

Let us know if you have questions or needs.

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief
Decatur Fire Department
1705 South State Street
Decatur, TX 76234
Office 940-393-0230

25 March 2020

Community Prevention Action

  • Social Distancing is a must everywhere
  • Handwashing is a must
  • Good Hygiene is a must
  • Stay Home if at all possible

*If people ignore these simple guidelines there will be significantly more cases in the US and the Health Care System as a whole will be overrun.

If Someone is Sick

  • People who are asymptomatic (no signs of illness) should not, and will not be tested in Wise County.
  • If you are sick with mild symptoms and do not need emergency help, please coordinate with your primary care physician.
  • First Responders and Care Facilities have ZERO way of knowing if you are sick unless you properly report.
  • Going by ambulance to the ER will not in any way guarantee testing or priority.
  • Please use 911 for emergency “Life Threatening” situations only.
  • The current HOME quarantine time is 14 days for any exposed person.
  • Consult with your physician for a time frame to quarantine after symptoms are gone.


Are we overreacting as a Nation, State or Municipality? No. We are buying time. Time to find medications, time to prepare our healthcare system, time for the cases to spread out.

Is there an element of overreaction? Yes. There is no need to hoard dry goods or food.

If anyone is going to overreact, they should do so to keep the rate at which new and symptomatic COVID19 cases present themselves to our Healthcare System as a whole (First Responders, Ambulances, Hospitals, Care Facilities, Etc.).

Please recommend to your friends and loved ones to rely on and share credible information only. We are filtering so much information daily that it can become unclear and overwhelming.

Please know, we do not mind answering any and all questions. Direct anyone with uncertainty to our office. Keep up the good work, you truly do make a huge difference.

Be well!

Nathan R. Mara
Fire Chief

24 March 2020

Texans Urged to Use 2-1-1 Texas for COVID-19 Information and Referrals

Texas Health and Human Services encourages all Texans in need of COVID-19 information and referrals to community resources to call the 2-1-1 Texas hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.