COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. For your personal protection; please adhere to all recommendations from Federal, State and local officials like social distancing and hand-washing among other precautions. - Texas Department of State Health Services [map of Texas Case Counts COVID-19 by counties] - Abilene, Texas COVID-19 - Taylor County Judge declares 'Local State of Disaster' - Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) The Abilene Taylor-County Public Health District continues to urge residents to protect themselves, and our medically fragile community members by: - Practicing social distancing - Staying home as much as possible - Washing or sanitizing hands often - Covering sneezes and coughs - Avoid touching your face - Staying home if you are sick - Routinely cleaning commonly touched surfaces If an individual feels they may be showing symptoms for COVID-19, it is important they first call their medical provider or the Abilene Taylor-County Public Health District at 325.692.5600 for screening and further instruction. Please do not arrive at a medical office, facility, or hospital without first making contact by phone and receiving instruction. The CDC still warns that older adults and those with underlying medical conditions continue to be at higher risk for serious complications from the virus. Its website says fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell could all be symptoms that appear between two and 14 days after exposure.