Monkeypox, COVID, and New Varieties—Oh My!

County Commissioner Dianne Edmondson

I had been watching the Denton County Public Health Department’s weekly COVID tracking with a bit of concern, as the weekly total of new cases was steadily rising from several hundred in June/July to several thousand new cases in the last few weeks. Then I personally developed symptoms, and I tested positive for COVID on Thursday, July 21. Prior to that, I was maintaining a normal working schedule as your commissioner, meeting with lots of people and attending various events. But once the symptoms started and I was diagnosed positive, I began quarantining and have been fighting the virus at home with my husband Bob who tested positive two days later. We both are receiving the same meds and undoubtedly are victims of the very contagious but also less deadly strains BA.4 and BA.5.

As we are recovering, we are still dealing with frequent fatigue. To avoid exposing others, we have not been out in public, but I am continuing to work from home as much as possible. By the time you read this, I am certain that I will be back to a normal schedule. But these highly contagious strains and their resulting numerous new cases have now moved Denton County from “low risk” CDC category to “medium risk.” On the positive side, our county has not experienced any resulting shortage of hospital beds, and there are several treatments which are proven effective, especially when started early in the illness.

You can keep up with current Denton County COVID trends here: DCPH also provides daily COVID-19 updates, including detailed data for cases, recoveries, and jurisdictions online.

And now yet another scary illness is poking its ugly head into our county: monkeypox!

As of Friday, July 22, there were four confirmed cases of this horrible disease here in our county, and more could surface. However, Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Denton County Public Health, states, “The risk to the general public remains low. As monkeypox cases increase, we’re asking the community to be aware of how monkeypox spreads and practice prevention methods recommended by the CDC.”

There is currently a limited monkeypox vaccine supply available. DCPH will work collaboratively with healthcare providers and other local health departments to identify high-risk contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases. Vaccination may be offered as post-exposure prophylaxis. Please visit for more information about monkeypox symptoms and prevention.

There is one other malady of which we all need to be aware: heat cramps, exhaustion, or stroke. Particularly for those who are new to the Lone Star state, this oppressive heat is a new phenomenon that can result in serious injury if not treated correctly. Experts urge us to limit outdoor activities to the cooler early morning and later evening hours in our activity-filled, very walkable community. Do you know the difference in heat cramps, exhaustion, or stroke? This link from the National Weather Service explains and offers some helpful tips:

Please be careful in this very dangerous heat and watch out for your neighbors and your pets as well. So, please stay cool, stay safe, and stay neighborly!

If you would like to receive her e-newsletter, which will contain updates on area road projects, please contact Commissioner Edmondson at [email protected]. You may phone her at 972-434-3960 or visit her office in the Southwest Courthouse, 6200 Canyon Falls Drive, Suite 900, Argyle.