The City of Paris is monitoring the potential impacts of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will keep this page updated to provide any new information as it becomes available. Below is key information on COVID-19 as well as some measures that can be taken to decrease and prevent the spread of this virus based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

The most current Situational Report from the WHO can be found here.

It is important that the public not fall for phishing or trolling sites on social media, and do not succumb to rumors about who is or is not infected based solely on unofficial websites and media reports.  Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Department of Emergency Management, Center of Disease Control and the World Health Organization are a few of the official sites providing valid real time data.  Those more severely affected are generally those with underlying chronic respiratory diseases or otherwise immunocompromised.  

Updated March 13, 2020

What is the City of Paris doing to prepare for COVID-19?

The city is participating on daily conference calls with the Texas Department of State Health Services, disseminating current information and guidance to internal and external stakeholders, and communicating with local partners including the Lamar County Health Department and local school districts. City departments are proactively reviewing protocols and personnel are participating in webcasts conducted by health experts and attending regional meetings and training regarding COVID-19. Paris EMS and Paris FD are coordinating EMS efforts with the Medical Control Director, Paris Regional Medical Center and ER’s.  The City is analyzing and modeling various scenarios with internal departments and partner agencies fostering proactive discussions and strengthening response plans.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure, range from mild to severe, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath

How does COVID-19 spread?

Current understanding about how COVID-19 spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. COVID-19 can spread:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs).

A person may get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. Surface or object exposure is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How can I help protect myself?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so the best way to protect yourself from illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Everyday preventative actions can help mitigate the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, etc. daily using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Community-based interventions such as social distancing and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Should I wear a face mask?

Not everyone needs to wear a face mask, but there are some individuals that should. Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask:

  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility). 

What should I do If I get sick with COVID-19?

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus, follow the steps below to prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Wear a face mask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean all ‘high-touch’ surfaces daily.
  • Monitor your symptoms and if placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring, follow instructions provided by the local health department. 

Travel information

If a person has recently traveled to a country with a sustained outbreak and has developed symptoms, they should call their doctor. Traveler information including returning from travel, canceling or postponing travel, air or cruise travel, and business travel can be found on the CDC website

More about COVID-19

COVID-19 is a ‘novel’ or new coronavirus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.  COVID-19 is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. 

Additional COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

For more information about frequently asked questions and answers, visit the CDC website. 

Mapping COVID-19

Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering released an interactive map that provides situational updates on COVID-19 throughout the world.

DSHS COVID-19 Call Center

  • The Department of State Health Services established a COVID-19 Call Center and set up an email box to receive incoming questions from the general public.

Additional information on how to prepare at specific settings

Additional information and materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available.

Additional information and materials from the Texas Department of State Health Services