Orange County Judge John Gothia has tested positive for the Coronavirus. The four Commissioners that serve with Gothia on the Commissioners Court confirmed Tuesday the judge who has missed the last two meetings of the Court has contracted COVID-19.
Gothia said on KOGT on air Monday morning that he tested negative for the virus. After taking another test he received the word Monday evening that he was positive for COVID-19 according to the judge.
Tuesday’s meeting was a special called session of the Commissioners Court. It was the first meeting that all the Commissioners wore masks in the courtroom. They have been social distancing during their previous meetings, but without wearing masks.
First order of business during the meeting was re-extending the Orange County Disaster Declaration that was originally signed on March 17. Judge Pro-Temp Johnny Trahan’s recommendation of extending the declaration to July 28 was approved by the Commissioners. This will keep Orange County eligible for grants that are created concerning the Coronavirus pandemic.
Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin provided an update regarding COVID-19 in the county. He reminded the Commissioners that 267 individuals were tested Sunday, June 28, for the Coronavirus in Bridge City at the Community Center.
Ardoin is trying to arrange similar walk-in testing sites for Vidor and the City of Orange in the coming weeks. These testing dates will not require an appointment by the individual wanting to be tested. No dates have been established at this time.
To provide more safety for the Courthouse complex the county will be setting up monitoring stations at several entrances to the buildings there. Judge Pro-Temp Trahan said the monitoring stations will serve multiple purposes. “My understanding is these things will check your temperature, they’re metal detectors, they do the whole thing, it’s a one stop shop,” Trahan explained.
The initial bid the county received was for two monitoring stations at a cost of $19,332. Trahan has been in communications with Judge Gothia who recommended purchasing six of the stations. The Court approved purchasing the six monitoring stations for $57,996. Trahan assured the cost will be covered by the CARES Act.
The only other business done was approval of paying the county’s bills for the end of June. The bills totaled $585,181.77.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-