Calhoun school district will host an in-person graduation ceremony in May.

Superintendent Larry Nichols announced during a weekly news briefing that the senior class will have their graduation ceremony May 29 at Sandcrab Stadium.

“We think it’s very important,” Nichols said. “We don’t want to give a second rate graduation.”

A limited number of guests will be permitted to attend the ceremony because of the social distancing standards to combat COVID-19, he said.

During the Friday briefing, health care officials urged the public to practice social distancing as local businesses begin to reopen.

“Even though some of these restrictions are going to be loosened, that does not mean we will go back to normal life like before,” said Dr. Leigh Ann Falcon, of the Port Lavaca Clinic. “There is still a risk of exposure.”

Falcon said the state saw its highest single death rate Thursday with 50 COVID-19 related deaths.

People who choose to go out in public should wear masks, and they are discouraged from wearing gloves, Falcon said. Instead, patrons should disinfect their hands regularly.

Memorial Medical Clinic has conducted 200 tests, said Erin Clevenger, chief nursing officer at Memorial Medical Center. The Port Lavaca Clinic has done 50.

An additional resident tested positive on Friday. There are now 31 county residents who have tested positive for the new disease. Of those, 16 people have recovered and three people have died, according to a news release.

COVID-19 cases by county

County Total Recoveries Deaths
Calhoun 596 564 4
Goliad 157 126 3
DeWitt 775 681 31
Jackson 494 443 6
Lavaca 673 651 7
Refugio 254 223 10
Victoria 3,763 3,495 67
Matagorda 887 561 38
Wharton 1,223 453 28
9-County total 8,822 7,197 194
•Editor’s note: These counts are updated daily. Total case counts include confirmed, pending investigation and probable cases reported by DSHS.

There has not been much hospitalization associated with the novel coronavirus, Clevenger said.

“We’ve been very pleased,” she said.

Memorial Medical Clinic has a typical 25 bed capacity, but the state has supplied an additional 10 beds, should they be needed, Clevenger said. Although they have a higher bed count, that does not mean they can care for 35 critical COVID-19 patients.

“That means beds for these people to be in,” she said. “That does not mean respiratory equipment critical patients would need.”

Matagorda County

One new case of COVID-19 was reported in Matagorda County, officials announced Friday.

The new case brings the county’s total to 64. Of those, 28 have recovered and three have died.

The new patient is a woman between the ages of 20 and 30 who is currently isolating at home, according to a news release from the Matagorda County Emergency Operation Center.

Additionally, the results from a drive-thru testing site in Bay City on April 24 showed zero positive cases of COVID-19. Sixty-seven people were tested and all tests returned negative, according to the release.

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Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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