Iraan, a small oilfield town of 1,200 people in western Texas, was hit by a coronavirus pandemic, effectively shutting down the entire town, including school districts and local businesses.
“We had been infected with COVID before, but it wasn’t that big,” said resident Vicky Zapata. Told to CNN..
According to Jason Rybolt, CEO of Iraan General Hospital, 119 people were tested for the virus and 50 were positive in the two weeks of August. This makes the 42% positive rate almost half that of the town. Mayor Derren Brown told CNN, “This is very serious.”
“I’m very worried about the community, and I’m very worried about getting them the medical care they need,” Leibold said.
Rybolt added that at least one Iraan resident was airlifted for out-of-state care due to the lack of ICU beds available in Texas. “People infected with the coronavirus can take 12 hours to receive a bed. It can take 36 hours. I don’t know how long it will take.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott continues to oppose state-wide mask obligations, as many US states do. The number of ICU beds available throughout Texas is very small, with only 372 beds currently available, according to the latest state data. Hospitals near Islayan are at least 100 miles away.
As a result of the town’s efforts, Tracy Canter, director of the Islayan Shefield Independent School District Said in the official statement The school district had to close after just five days of class, as about a quarter of its staff and 16% of its students were infected or exposed to COVID-19.
The school has been postponed until August 30th and there are no virtual classes. The city council building will be closed and high school football (the cornerstone of the town) will be put on hold.
This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Texas town Iraan, school district closed almost completely due to COVID