Local health officials have confirmed two cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within Ellis County. The updated number includes the original case of a Maypearl resident reported on Tuesday, and a Palmer resident, according to a news release.

"Medical personnel and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are closely monitoring the cases, working to identify additional individuals who may have come in contact with the cases while the individuals were symptomatic," according to Todd Little, Ellis County Judge & Emergency Management Director. "Those identified as having close contact with the cases will be contacted by health officials."

COVID-19 has recently been confirmed to be community spread. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness for COVID-19 cases. These include symptoms of fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, viral pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which can lead to permanent damage and or death. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

"Jurisdictions across the state shall follow Governor Abbott’s Executive Order effective 11:59 p.m. on March 20, 2020, through 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020. This order is subject to an extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations by the CDC," the release says. "Every Texan shall avoid all gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. All critical infrastructure shall remain open and continue providing essential services. Businesses are to implement policies allowing employees to work from home to eliminate the spread of COVID-19."

Inside dining at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors is prohibited. Restaurants and other establishments are allowed to utilize drive-through, delivery, and pick-up options. People shall not visit nursing homes, retirement, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. Schools throughout the state shall temporarily close through April 3, 2020.

For Gov. Greg Abbott’s full order, visit: https://co.ellis.tx.us/DocumentCenter/View/10959/COVID-19-JOINT-PDF-31920