Boys basketball tournament in Levelland might have been common event for spread of COVID-19

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LEVELLAND, Texas (KLBK/KAMC) — The Texas Department of Health Services identified the regional boys basketball tournament March 7 in Levelland at South Plains College as a possible “common event” where people might have been exposed to COVID-19 or coronavirus.

Hockley County Judge Sharla Baldridge said in a written statement, “The health department will continue their investigations in our Hockley County cases and I will share the pertinent information that I can share with the public as I receive it.”

“At this time this event does not seem to be a common attribute in any of Hockley County’s confirmed cases,” Baldridge said.

However, people who attended the tournament said the attendance came from all over the South Plains and Panhandle region.

Castro County publicly confirmed five cases as of Wednesday at noon and on Tuesday issued a “stay at home” order.

All five patients are from Nazareth and some were at the basketball tournament. KAMR in Amarillo is working to get more information about the Castro County cases.

Judge Baldridge urged citizens to be vigilant.

Baldridge said, “Without complete cooperation and compliance with the safety guidelines set out by the CDC and strict compliance with Governor Abbot’s executive orders by everyone in Hockley County, we cannot flatten the curve and protect our citizens.”

The following is the full text of the statement from Judge Baldridge:

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services they have been able to identify a possible common event with some of the confirmed cases in our region who attended an event in Levelland on March 7th, said event being a regional boys basketball tournament held at South Plains College. At this time this event does not seem to be a common attribute in any of Hockley County’s confirmed cases.

The Health Department will continue their investigations in our Hockley County cases and I will share any pertinent information that I can share with the public, as I receive it.

With much appreciated assistance from Congressman Jodey Arrington via a conference call on March 24th , I am now able to obtain more information that I can release to our concerned citizens as it is provided to me. Congressman Arrington has been essential in aiding me in getting help in our county and I would like to encourage people to call his Lubbock District Office at 806-763-1611 with any issues or concerns.

To put this into perspective, as of March 24 th our neighboring Lubbock County has a population of approximately 13 times the population of Hockley County and at this time has 14 confirmed cases while Hockley County has 5 confirmed cases.

I cannot emphasize enough to our citizens that we must be united and diligent as a county in the battle against the spread of COVID-19. Without complete cooperation and compliance with the safety guidelines set out by CDC and strict compliance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders by everyone in Hockley County, we cannot flatten the curve and protect our citizens.

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