COVID-19 coverage graphic

A Troup man is the second person in Smith County to die from a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District announced a 56-year-old man from Troup had died on Sunday.

The man was the only confirmed case of the virus in Troup.

“Our prayers and our sympathy are extended to the family during the time of their tragic loss,” said Troup Mayor Joe Carlyle.

Carlyle said in his statement that he would allow the family time to grieve before asking for their blessing to release more information.

The first COVID-19 related death in Smith County was a 91-year-old man from Hideaway Lake.

NET Health also said that Smith County has added five new cases since Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 62.

“Community spread means there is more than one possible source for COVID-19 to become acquired by any individual,” said George Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of NET Health. “The public has the responsibility, more than ever, to follow recommendations from health officials, such as physical distancing yourself from others as much as possible, while also remaining socially connected with family members and friends using technology.”

Last Thursday Smith County Health Authority Dr. Jeffrey Levin said the Public Health Lab of East Texas was having to be careful about testing because they were beginning to run low on materials needed to run the tests.

These numbers reflect only cases in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19.

Of the 62 cases in Smith County, 49 were in Tyler, five in Flint, five in Whitehouse, one in Lindale, one in Hideaway and one in Troup. The areas are based off of the physical address of the individuals, according to NET Health. As of Sunday, Tyler hospitals were treating 56 East Texas patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

NET Health said 38 of the Smith County cases were caused by community spread and 24 cases are travel-related. There were 32 male and 30 female patients.

Thirty-nine of the first 57 cases within the county were under the age of 60. There are two confirmed cases in someone 20 years old or younger, 16 in the 21 to 40-year-old range and 21 in the 41 to 59-year-old range.

There were 20 confirmed cases in the 60 to 79 group and three who are 80 years old or over, according to NET Health.

NET Health’s latest count of cases in the area has Gregg County at 18 confirmed cases.

Henderson County has four confirmed cases, Anderson County is at one case, Van Zandt County is at five cases and Wood County is up to three cases. Rains County does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Rusk County officials report their county has 12 cases. Cherokee County is reporting 6 cases, as of April 1. Nacogdoches County reported their 16th case on Saturday, and neighboring Angelina County is at 10.

NET Health is not yet listing any confirmed recoveries in its 7-county surveillance region. A recovery would be listed if a person who had tested positive then tests negative at the end of their quarantine period, which can be longer than two weeks.

NET Health has also reported one death in Van Zandt County. As of 5 p.m. Sunday the state of Texas lists 6,812 confirmed positive cases, and 127 fatalities. This data may lag behind what individual counties and health departments are reporting.

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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