AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - City officials in Nazareth are responding to the recent community cases of COVID-19 by saying they are trying to keep the residents as calm and as informed as possible during this time.
Castro County Sheriff Sal Rivera says immediately following the discovery of COVID-19 in their community, many residents went into a state of fear or panic due to the spreading of false information.
“A lot of panic on behalf of some of the citizens," Rivera said. "Of course rumors flying around that we’re going to put the town on a lockdown, road blocks and not permit travel, so that’s something that we’ve been having to deal with and fight through.”
Rivera wants to encourage Nazareth residents to try and remain calm as the city will operate as normal as possible under their Shelter-in-Place order.
“Our restaurants here are complying with the take-out, you know, our drive up windows," Rivera said. "Our grocery store and local Dollar General and Family Dollar are limiting items so that all the citizens can have, so that’s why we want to reiterate that they need to remain calm.”
Since Nazareth has a strong agricultural community, most residents will be able to continue working during this time.
“This is an agricultural community, and farmers still have to work on the farms, and ranchers still have to take care of their livestock, and that Shelter-in-Place order is allowing that, because that’s an essential business," Rivera said.
Local residents say this community is like a family, and this hits many residents on a personal level.
“I think it’s a little more personal, because these are people, the people we have in the hospital with the virus at this time, are people that we’re around all week long," Bob Birkenfeld, deacon at Holy Family Catholic Church in Nazareth said. "We go to church with them, go to school with them, some of them are immediate family.”
As a result, the community has come together on social media to continue uplifting each other.
“You know, our community is very creative in all other matters," Birkenfeld said. "I don’t know why we can’t be just as creative in our concerns and our cares for one another, and I think that’s kind of what we’re seeing. As everybody likes to have a part they can play in this, and we’ve started a Coronavirus Novena, a nine day prayer chain where everybody has a part to play in it.”