Iraan is a small town in west Texas that has 1,200 residents. The coronavirus pandemic has caused the town to shut down.

“We had had COVID before, but never to this magnitude,” resident Vicky Zapata told Daily Reuters.

Jason Rybolt CEO of Iraan General Hospital said that 119 people had been tested for the virus, and that 50 were positive in a two-week period. This is a 42% positivity rate. Mayor of Iraan, stated that the virus is “very serious”.

Rybolt stated that he is “very concerned about the community” and that he “very concerned about trying to ensure that they get the health care they need.”

Rybolt stated that at least one Iraan resident was airlifted out of state to receive care due to a shortage of ICU beds in Texas. He stated that it could take up to 12 hours for coronavirus-stricken patients to be given a bed. It could take up to 36 hours. It’s impossible to predict how long it will take.

Texas Governor. Greg Abbott continues to advocate against a mandatory statewide mask mandate as have many other U.S. states. According to state data, only 372 ICU beds are currently available in Texas. Iraan is located at least 100 miles from the nearest hospitals.

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Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District Superintendent Tracy Canter said in a public statement that the school district had to shut down after only five days of classes because about one quarter of the staff and 16% of the students were either infected with or exposed to the coronavirus.

School has been delayed – no virtual classes allowed – until Aug. 30. The city council buildings have been closed and high school football is suspended.