Waco COVID-19 Update 4/2/20

As the acuity and incidence of cases increase locally, we continue to need to work together to communicate and care for our community.  

Situation Update as of 4/2/20

  • Worldwide Cases – 1,007,997 confirmed cases.  52,771 deaths. US, Italy, Spain, China and Germany have the highest confirmed cases. US now ranks 1st worldwide in total cases.
  • US Cases – 238,820 confirmed cases. 5,758 deaths. New York, New Jersey, California, Michigan and Louisiana have the highest confirmed cases. Texas ranks 12th nationally in total cases. 
  • Texas Cases – 4,669 confirmed cases. 70 deaths. Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Travis counties have the highest confirmed cases. McLennan County ranks 18/254 counties. 50,679 tests completed in Texas at state and private labs with 9.2. 


  • McLennan  – 49 confirmed cases. 1 death. 6 cases hospitalized. 12 recovered.

*Note for case counts – We are reporting case counts from the CDC website. Due to increasing testing capacity at State and local labs around the country, the count may be lower than the numbers reported by media. 


Message from Dr. Verner:

“Locally our epidemic curve is still fairly linear.  Of note is that the number of cases without an identifiable exposure risk is definitely increasing indicating community spread.  Containment efforts with case finding and contact tracing can still be of real benefit.  While still important to test those with history of travel to high incidence areas as well as those with high risk comorbidities, if testing availability will allow, we would want to identify as many cases of community spread as possible.  This means testing more symptomatic patients without high risk factors hoping to identify cases occurring despite social distancing, hygiene and shelter in place efforts.  The message to symptomatic patients unable to be tested would be to act as if their test were positive and home isolate.

There is now data showing that the pre-symptomatic infectious period is probably around 2 days.  This makes social distancing especially important. Experience from other countries indicates that a significant portion of infections are transmitted by those unaware that they have it.”


Local Update

  • PPE – Visit covidwaco.comor email logistics@wacotx.govto request PPE for your clinic or facility.   Facilitation of resources is coordinated by the EOC in collaboration with multiple local entities including the McLennan County Medical Society.  MCMS will not be making final determinations regarding who receives which supplies nor storing any supplies; however, we will advocate for you if needed and please let us know of any special circumstances or critical needs in PPE. CDC has adapted some guidelines for reuse of PPE in certain circumstances.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/face-masks.html
  • Plans have been made to accommodate surge capacity up to 130% in the coming days and weeks at both hospitals.  
  • Providence, Hillcrest and the Family Health Center have all adapted and are offering specially dedicated clinics for drive through testing and/or “Fever/URI” clinics.
  • Testing availability remains limited, but improved and is now being offered for more symptomatic patients.  
  • Telehealth continues to perform well and is being adapted by several local physicians and patients to see some chronic and acute care illnesses. Multiple resources are available online.
  • We are pushing for more transparency in testing data and epidemiological information available for physicians.
  • The MCMS is actively working to prepare confidential, local psychological support for our physicians via telehealth. We all realize that this is a stressful time and want to help provide a valuable resource for our members.  More information and details will be forthcoming.
  • The Waco City Council has voted to extend the local state disaster order to April 21 and postpone local elections until as late as November. 
  • Governor Abbott has announced that Texas schools will remain closed until May 4 and social distancing guidelines have been extended until April 30.  


See the CDC website for more information:
Again, this is a consolidation of physician specific information from the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, CDC, BS&W Hillcrest, Ascension Providence and DSHS communications.  We advise following the guidelines distributed from your hospital system if applicable. More information and updates will follow as the situation continues to evolve.
*Please reply to this email with any COVID-19 management criticisms and/or suggestions that we can bring to city and healthcare officials.*
William McCunniff, MD, MBA                                                Farley Verner, MD
McLennan County Medical Society                                       County Health Authority 
President                                                                               Infectious Disease Specialist

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