It has been weeks since Grayson County announced its first patients testing positive for COVID-19. Though new cases are being announced continually, those original patients are on the mend.

Privacy laws keep Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez from being able to say very much about each of the cases specifically, but she was about to say that four of the first 12 confirmed cases remained in the hospital as of Tuesday.

The others have all been released and following the same requirements as everyone else: to stay at home and practice social distancing.

Nationally, more than 10,000 people have died from the virus but thousands of others have recovered.

Ortez said her staff has learned that when it comes to this pandemic, things change quickly and often.

"The individuals that have tested positive are rightfully concerned, but understand the necessity to isolated themselves from others until they have fully recovered. For some, we’ve come to know them and their families and sincerely want them to recover as soon as possible and be able to resume so sort of normalcy in their lives. For the ones hospitalized, all we can do is pray, and pray for the healthcare providers watching over them," Ortez said.

While they Health Department team continues to pray for their patients, they are also learning to lean on each other.

"This disease has impacted every single one of us, and we are living through something we never thought we would. It’s brought us together and made us stronger as a health department team," she said.

That team knows that they all have a role to play in this fight and that they need each other to get through this.

"I couldn’t do it without them. They are all truly amazing and I’m extremely thankful for every single one of them. Our Local Health Authority, Jerry D. Bennett, M.D., has shined through this all," she said.

She said Bennett has been there for the team and the people they serve regardless if it’s 8 in the morning, 10 at night, or in the wee hours of the new day, he’s there.

"As both a local ER physician and our Grayson County Local Health Authority, Dr. Bennett is on the front lines, but remains a pillar for us as we all work to navigate these uncharted waters," she added.

Ortez was not the only one praising Grayson County’s response to the pandemic. Speaking to the county’s Commissioners Court Tuesday, Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt said Ortez, along with Grayson County Emergency Management Director Sarah Somers have both done an excelled job in helping the county prepare for the every changing situation they are facing right now. He said the teams both women have put in place and are leading are as on top of the situation as anyone could be and have kept his office informed about the ever changing situation.

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