Waller Co. moves forward with COVID-19 testing, honors veterans at Sept. 30 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 10/4/20

The Waller County Commissioners Court announced the implementation of its own COVID-19 testing program in partnership with AccessHealth during its Sept. 30 meeting. It also had a flag-raising …

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Waller Co. moves forward with COVID-19 testing, honors veterans at Sept. 30 meeting

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The Waller County Commissioners Court announced the implementation of its own COVID-19 testing program in partnership with AccessHealth during its Sept. 30 meeting. It also had a flag-raising ceremony for the county’s new veterans memorial which is located on the front lawn of the county courthouse.

“I still get multiple messages a week, you know, ‘My son just came down (with COVID-19), my daughter, my husband – where can we go get tested.’” County Judge Trey Duhon said. “Now we have ongoing testing in Waller County.”

Testing Initiated

Duhon announced during the meeting that testing through AccessHealth was ready to begin with testing for COVID-19 using county-allocated CARES Act funds.

Waller County Fire Marshal Brian Cantrell said the testing had begun the morning of the meeting at the Waller County Community Center in Prairie View. Testing will be conducted each Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The week of Oct. 4-10 would have the testing moving from that location to the Brookshire Convention Center, he said, then would continue in an alternating pattern between the two sites to ensure both the north and south ends of the county were served.

“Folks, the testing is no cost,” Duhon said. “All you need to do is register.”

Registration is available through www.myaccesshealth.org/wallertesting or by calling 281-238-2397. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon, Duhon said. Web registration is available anytime.

Duhon said during the meeting that Waller County had 856 cases of COVID-19 countywide with 14 fatalities from the disease. Only 33 of those cases were considered active at the time of the meeting, he said.

Cantrell said the testing would be administered through a nasal swab and that results would be provided to residents who received testing within two to three days. Those who test positive will be provided with information on what protocols to follow during their illness.

“So, we have actually been going down and, in fact, two days ago we had a day with no confirmed cases,” Duhon said. “So I mean – as I’ve said – I think the number of cases that we’ve had has been decreasing so I think that’s good. I encourage people to continue washing your hands, wearing a mask, following social distance protocols – just continue to do that.”

The number of total cases for the county had risen to 876 by Sunday afternoon.

Veterans Honored

Luther Francis – whom Prairie View Mayor David Allen said is likely the county’s oldest World War II veteran – attended the flag raising ceremony and expressed appreciation for the memorial. He also explained some of his service while serving during the second world war.

“I was all over Germany,” Francis said. “I stayed over there long enough to speak a little German.”

Francis received a standing ovation from those present at the commissioners court meeting after speaking briefly during the public comments portion of the meeting.

Near the end of the meeting, members of the court and the general public worked their way out to the front lawn for a brief flag-raising ceremony which had been postponed due to rains the prior week. Attendees included all members of the commissioners court, Waller County Construction Manager Danny Rothe and several of the members from the community that organized fundraising for the roughly $40,000 monument – many of them veterans.

The flags were raised by the veterans in attendance and everyone attending recited the Pledge of Allegiance afterward.

The memorial includes several marble slabs which are dedicated to the various branches of the United States Military with a variety of images from specific conflicts veterans had served in. Benches are available for visitors to sit at while contemplating the monument as well.

A more formal opening ceremony is being planned for Veterans Day this coming Nov. 11, Duhon said.

Other items:

The commissioners court also approved the following items during the meeting:

  • The advertising of a public hearing regarding the installation of speed limit signage throughout the county.
  • The publication of an advertisement in newspapers throughout the county that the county was seeking bids for type A, grade 2 flex base for construction purposes.
  • Advertising changes in locations for some stop signs on the northern end of the county.
  • The payment of a victims’ assistant in the District Attorney’s Office at the current levels of pay until such time as grant funding from the Governor’s Office is awarded for that purpose.
  • The tabling of a possible burn ban and removal of a burn ban from future agendas due to enough rainfall coming to reduce the fire hazard rating countywide.
  • The purchase of furniture for the Precinct 4 Annex located near Brookshire on Highway 90.
  • The approval of a certificate of substantial completion for the construction of the Precinct 4 Annex.
  • The relocation of a secure file hardware from the County Clerk’s Office to the new Waller County Justice Center at a cost of about $5,600.

The Waller County Commissioners Court meets each Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead. A live stream of the meeting is available at https://www.co.waller.tx.us/page/comm.WCCCVideo.

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