Grayson County Jeff Whitmire appears at a meeting held via Zoom Tuesday [Jerrie Whiteley / Herald Democrat]

Grayson County commissioners Tuesday extended the state of disaster declaration at meeting held via ZOOM.


The commissioners and some other essential county leaders were present in the East Courtroom of the Grayson County courthouse, but others attended the meeting via the internet including Grayson County Engineer Clay Barnett.


The group extended the disaster declaration that emphasized Texas Governor Greg Abbotts admonishment that at Texans should stay home unless they "vital or essential reason to leave."


Grayson County stopped short of issuing the shelter in place warning that some other counties have issued in light of the COVID-19 situation.


The county has reported only two positive cases of the virus and those reports came on Sunday and Monday. Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said he thinks the reason that Grayson County went so long without a positive case is that people are practicing social distancing in the county they way they should. He said he was particularly impressed with the way local churches responded to the need to stop large gatherings of people.


The action commissioners took Tuesday extends the disaster declaration until next Tuesday. Magers said Grayson County residents should be following the guidelines set out by the Governor which limits gatherings to no more than ten people and advises people to stay home whenever possible but permits for trips to the grocery stores and other essential activities.


Magers did caution that Grayson County does have a higher than normal number of residents who fit into the category of people most at risk for complications from the COVID-19 virus including those who are over 65-years-old and those who have underlying health conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes.


Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez did not speak at Tuesday’s meeting but the week before, she cautioned local residents who think they may have been exposed to the virus not to go directly to their medical care provider. She said those who are concerned that they may have been exposed to the virus or have it should call their medical care provider or Emergency Room and talk with those professionals about their systems and exposure. Those people professionals are trained to help people decide if they need to be tested or not.


Symptoms of the virus include a fever, cough and a shortness of breath.