Following the news of a Splashville employee testing positive for COVID-19 late last week, Stephenville City Manager Allen Barnes announced on Tuesday afternoon that the city had received confirmation from Kelly Doggett, the city’s designated public health official, that four Splashville employees had tested positive for the coronavirus. Splashville is owned and operated by the city of Stephenville.
"When we were told of the positive test, we took immediate action closing the facility, to protect the health and safety of our customers," Barnes said.
All Splashville employees were tested on Monday of this week.
"Dr. Kelly Doggett, our City Health Official, has been in consultation with the Texas State Department of Health Services (DSHS) about the positive tests at Splashville," Barnes said. "DSHS recommended that Splashville remain closed for 14 days, until July 6."
The city will use the time Splashville is closed to clean and sanitize all surfaces in the facility.
"We apologize for any inconvenience this closure will cause, but public safety comes first," said Doug Svien, the mayor of Stephenville. "We are fully aware that our residents were very cooperative during the shelter at home phase of the COVID crisis with little or no social activity. We really want to serve our community by allowing the pool to be open for a shortened season so that our kids would have something to do while our community opens back up for business."
SHS ATHLETES TEST POSITIVE
Stephenville ISD was informed on Tuesday afternoon that two Stephenville High School student athletes had tested positive for COVID-19.
Henderson Junior High School, where offseason strength and conditioning training for the SHS girls and boys athletes has been held this summer, closed its doors for the remainder of the week for cleaning and sanitation.
All high school athletes will be notified by coaches regarding when/if they may return.
"We are extremely concerned about the health and welfare of our summer school attendees and strength and conditioning student athletes," SISD Superintendent Matt Underwood said. "The district takes every health condition seriously, but extra caution must be provided to students infected with COVID-19 due to the highly contagious nature of the virus. We truly appreciate the patience and understanding of our school community as we move into the next school year."
Womack stated that the news of the two student-athlete cases Tuesday afternoon prompted the temporary shutdown of the summer strength and conditioning program.
"During the closure, we had our weight room, restrooms, and gyms all deep cleaned and sanitized," Womack said in an email. "All students and staff that were in direct contact with the individuals that had positive test results will not be in the facility for 14 days.
"We also communicated with parents and athletes the plans that have been put in place to ensure the safety of our athletes as we resume workouts with the coaches that did not come into direct contact.
"The athletes and coaches that were not affected will return to workouts on Monday, June 29th. All athletes and coaches that are currently in quarantine will be able to return on Thursday, July 9th. The workouts for incoming junior high athletes have been cancelled for next week, but we are looking into possibly bringing those athletes in after the 4th of July break."
Womack added, "Our kids are working hard and our coaches have seen some great improvement over the last two and half weeks. We look forward to having our athletes return next Monday and get back to work.
"Although it is a smaller group of both athletes and coaches, it is important for us to get back to work and move forward as we prepare to compete this year."
CAMP EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE
On Thursday, Barnes announced that the city of Stephenville received information that an employee of the Stephenville Recreation Summer Day Camp had tested positive for COVID-19.
Effective immediately, the day camp is closed.
Dr. Doggett has recommended that parents quarantine their children and contact their child’s primary care physician. City staff started contacting day camp parents Thursday night.
Due to the location of the day camp, the Stephenville Recreation Center is closed to the public pending proper sanitizing.
CASES RISE TO 104 TOTAL, 79 ACTIVE
COVID-19 cases continue to rise with the latest numbers being at 120 total and 94 active with five hospitalizations.
The highest age group with positive cases is still the 20-29 age group with 38 cases.
City officials continue to encourage residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus like:
— Stay home whenever possible
— Wear masks in public which protect both the wearer and others around them
— Wash hands regularly and use hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of 60 percent or more
— Don’t touch your face, nose or mouth
— Observe social distancing at all times
— Sanitize surfaces regularly
With the increase in COVID-19 cases, city officials say precautions become much more important.