As Texas cases of the coronavirus apparently are rising, Kilgore announced its most recent figures on Saturday, just a little up from last week.

According to the weekly announcement the city makes in social media, there are 21 positive cases within the city: 18 in the Gregg County portion of Kilgore, and three in the Rusk County portion.

In the same release, the city said that within the ZIP code of Kilgore’s portion of Gregg County in recent days, there have been 319 total tests, 289 negative results, and six pending.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held his weekly press meeting Monday and urged people in Texans to wear masks and continue with social distancing procedures as the state gradually opens up – or risk having to go in the reverse direction.

According to the Associated Press, state officials said 3,711 people in Texas are hospitalized right now for the COVID-19, or coronavirus. It’s the 11th straight day that hospitalizations are up.

Gregg County Health Administrator A.J. Harris said Monday that there are 314 cases within the county, and County Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne said 33 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Gregg County on Friday. Brown told MRoberts Media’s Longview News-Journal that the county isn’t experiencing the large jumps in hospitalizations that other parts of the state are. “Not seeing a dramatic increase in Gregg County for hospitalizations so far,” Browne said. “That’s good.”

While Abbott on Monday acknowledged higher hospitalization and positivity rates, and urged Texans to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the virus, he stopped short of requiring masks to be worn, stating that local governments might require them to be worn by businesses.

County Judge Bill Stout said Monday not to expect local enforcement of mask-wearing.

“No. 1, if everyone doesn’t know COVID’s alive and well, and you’re not taking care of yourself and others, then we’re in peril,” Stoudt said. “No. 2 is, there’s no way to enforce it. I’ve talked to other leadership in Gregg County, and we’re all in the same opinion.”

In Smith County, including Tyler, there are 38 new cases and a current total of 378, according to the Northeast Texas Public Health District. Hospitals in Tyler have 51 patients being treated for the virus, up from the 45 reported last week.

In the 25 counties that are considered the East Texas region, there were 4,296 cases as of Monday, and in those 25 counties, there have been 173 deaths from the virus.

Statewide, there are 43,499 estimated active cases, and 2,192 deaths, 10 of them reported Monday.

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