COVID deaths rise by 6, health leader urges vaccination

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Sherman Neurologist Andres Morales talks about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines at Hispanic Heritage Festival in 2021.

The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 has changed just about every facet of life in Grayson County in one way or another including the fall festival season. At last week's Hispanic Heritage Festival, a vaccination station was included among the booths for sweets and other goodies.

Sherman Neurologist Andres Morales urged those in attendance to take advantage of the booth and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their community.

"It is very important that we take this very seriously," Morales said in both Spanish and English to the crowd. "Now days we are actually dealing with a pandemic that is actually worse, more intense than what we saw last year. The media people have gotten tired of talking about this so you don't hear about it as much but behind the scenes we are seeing a lot of infections and a lot of deaths here in our community everyday, somebody passes from this infection."

Morales said there is good new though that this fall there are vaccines to help fight the virus but they will only work if the majority of the population gets them. 

A report released from the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management on Tuesday evening showed there were 342 active cases in the county on that day. A report also showed that the number of Grayson County people who died COVID-19 related deaths in the county had rise by six over the weekend and stood at 427.

So far, 48,238 of the county's 135,543 residents have been fully vaccinated. That represents 42 percent of those over the age of 12. 

Morales said more and more communities and countries are requiring proof of vaccine for travel and that people should probably expect even greater restrictions in the upcoming months. 

"There is no reason why we cannot continue to work and provide for our families and our communities and the same time remain safe and prevent the spread of this terrible pandemic," he said in closing. 

Getting tested:

Places where one can get a test by appointment only include: 

•Local doctor’s office, or if they prefer:

•CVS (cvs.com)

•Walgreens (Walgreens.com)

•Advanced Laboratory Services (advancedlabservices.net)

The release cautioned people to expect delays in this process because the testing sites are all very busy right now with the recent surge in cases. 

Getting vaccinated:

Vaccines are readily available at many local pharmacies and grocery stores. In addition, they are available at the Grayson County Health Clinic. Walk-in clinics are held every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Grayson County Health Department (Sherman location only) at 515 N Walnut, Sherman.. Vaccines will be administered on a first come, first serve basis. No pre-registration is required for the walk in clinics. COVID-19 vaccines are available to all Grayson County residents ages 12 years and older. If the vaccine recipient is a minor, a parent or guardian must be present.

They are also available in the lobby of Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center in Sherman on Monday mornings, Morales said.

Jerrie Whiteley is the Criminal Justice Editor for the Herald Democrat. She can be reached at JWhiteley@HeraldDemocrat.com.