Bishop Joseph E. Strickland is sharing the following joint statement from CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances and UT Health East Texas hospitals, issued on Nov. 23, 2020:

CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances & UT Health East Texas Joint Statement – COVID-19

To the communities we serve,

COVID-19 continues to be a major health risk, and CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System and UT Health East Texas are asking for your help in this ongoing battle to slow the spread of the virus. We are seeing significant spread of the virus in the communities we serve, and both of our health systems are seeing increased hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have urged our communities to protect themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors. After months of physical distancing and staying home, infections and deaths began to decline. But, as we reopened, some of the steps that were critical to slowing the spread have been relaxed. As a result, we are now experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Together, we are committed to providing great care to all who seek it, and we remain vigilant in working to make sure our staff have the resources they need to keep them safe as they provide that much-needed care. Each day, it seems as though we are experiencing an increasing number of coronavirus cases and continued high numbers of hospitalizations, both locally and throughout the country. We implore you to take the simple steps we know will stop the spread of the virus:

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands often
  • Practice social distancing
  • Stay home if you are sick

We also encourage people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks to consider donating plasma, which may help save the lives of other patients. Convalescent plasma may contain antibodies to help fight against COVID-19.

We are not powerless in this public health crisis, and we can defeat it in the same way we defeated previous threats to public health – by working together to keep our community safe.