Timeline of COVID-19 or coronavirus cases in Lubbock and the South Plains

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The following is a timeline of our COVID-19 or coronavirus cases in Lubbock and the South Plains. As of March 25, there are 14 confirmed cases in Lubbock.

February 7

  • First known cases of COVID-19 arrives in Texas

By February 13, the Lubbock medical community was already bracing for the impact. LINK to more

March 2

  • The City of Lubbock holds its first press conference on COVID-19

At that point there were no known cases in Lubbock, but there was already pressure to cancel large events in Texas such as SXSW. LINK to more

  • News breaks that Lubbock is the lab in Texas approved for testing COVID-19

Other labs in Texas would soon get approval for conducting COVID-19 tests, but TIEHH at Texas Tech was the first in Texas. LINK to more

March 9

  • Texas Tech (along with TTUHSC) imposes travel restrictions on students, staff and faculty

Among other things, Texas Tech canceled all university-sponsored international travel through April 30. LINK to more

March 12

  • Texas Tech canceled classes for the week of March 23 through 27.

Texas Tech also announced that classes would resume online only after March 27. LINK to more

  • The March of cancellations begins.

Texas Tech and other teams were told the Big 12 canceled the remainder of its post-season basketball tournament. Other major conferenceS did the same. The NCAA would soon follow suit and cancel March Madness. LINK to more

  • The first major non-sporting event was canceled in Lubbock

The JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. tour was postponed at the United Supermarkets Arena. Many other events would follow. LINK to more

  • Plainview and New Deal cancel Friday classes

Classes on Friday, March 13 were canceled in two local school districts. It was the first round in a flurry of school announcements. Most local schools extended spring break by one week. Ultimately the governor ordered no students in class prior to April 3. LINK to more

  • Panic buying gets underway in Lubbock.

The shelves are empty where toilet paper would normally be found. Disinfectant wipes and certain other products are also flying off the shelves. LINK to more

March 13

  • Brownfield Regional Medical Center becomes the first hospital to limit visitors.

The hospital in Brownfield announced a limited number of entrances along with screening & questioning visitors. Other local hospitals would follow suit. LINK to more

  • The UIL suspends all sports contests March 16 through 29.

Later the University Interscholastic League (UIL) would expand the cancellation of events. Even practices would be canceled statewide. LINK to more

  • Lubbock County declares a local state of emergency

Following the disaster declarations by President Donald Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Lubbock County made a disaster declaration. The City of Lubbock would soon-after make a similar declaration. LINK to more

March 14

  • Atmos Energy temporarily suspended disconnections.

Atmos was the first major utility in Lubbock to publicly announce a temporary halt to disconnects. Xcel, SPEC and LP&L later made similar announcements. LINK to more

March 16

  • Chick-fil-A becomes the first national restaurant chain operating in Lubbock to announce no dine-in customers.

Later all restaurants would stop dine-in – most switching to drive-thru, carry-out and delivery – because of an order from the governor. But Chick-fil-A was the first operating in Lubbock to make the announcement. LINK to more

  • The first limit on mass gatherings in Lubbock was 200 people.

The Lubbock City Council approved a measure by Dan Pope to limit events in the city to 200 people or less. Later, the mayor declared an emergency and limited gatherings to 50. Later still, he limited gatherings to 10 or less. LINK to more

  • The South Plains got its first brush with COVID-19.

A visitor to the Texas Civil Commitment Center in Littlefield tested positive for COVID-19 after the visit. This was the not the first case officially attributed to Lubbock or the South Plains. LINK to more

March 17

  • Lubbock gets the first official case of COVID-19

University Medical Center tested a patient at a clinic (not the main hospital) and this was the first case to come back positive. Official word came from state health officials to Lubbock officials on March 17 at 5:20 p.m. A second case was announced that same evening. LINK to more

March 18

  • The City of Lubbock announced the closure of certain facilities to the public.

Effective March 21, city hall and a long list of facilities were closed to the public. The city said people could call or email, etc, but no more in-person visits. The city’s libraries replaced in-person visits with curbside service. LINK to more

  • The city announced the third confirmed case of COVID-19.

The city announced a third case and limited mass gatherings to 50 people. LINK to more

  • The Lubbock Diocese canceled mass and dispensed the obligation to attend weekly services until further notice.

Governor Greg Abbott later said churches in Texas have the right to gather under freedom of religion, but he urged them to consider doing otherwise. Most churches of all denominations in Lubbock canceled in-person services and other events. LINK to more

March 19

  • Governor Greg Abbot announced restrictions on bars and restaurants in Texas.

The governor limited gatherings to 10 people or less statewide. He also ordered no gatherings inside restaurants, bars or gyms. Restaurants could continue with drive-thru, delivery and takeout. LINK to more

  • Tech canceled in-person May commencement ceremonies.

Texas Tech will provide an opportunity for May 2020 graduates to participate in a face-to-face ceremony, possibly in August, if it is safe to do so. LINK to more

  • Outside of Lubbock, Hockley County gets the fist official case of COVID-19 on the South Plains.

One of the first two Lubbock cases was a Hockley County resident. But the first official Hockley County case was actually another person in addition to that. LINK to more

March 20

  • The City of Lubbock confirms cases four and five of COVID-19.

The city also provided a list of locations where members of the public might be at risk of exposure to the cornonavirus. LINK to more

March 21

  • Another case was reported in Hockley County.

At this point, Hockley County had two confirmed cases. One of the Lubbock cases was then transferred to the jurisdiction of Hockley County so that by the end of the day on March 21, Hockley County would have three confirmed cases. LINK to more

  • The City of Lubbock confirmed one more COVID-19 case and then on the same day three more cases.

The city, by the end of March 21, had eight total cases. One them (which would have been case No. 9) was transferred to the jurisdiction of Hockley County to be reported with their numbers. LINK to more

  • The Lubbock County Clerk announced the office is closed to the public.

The clerk announced that staff will still conduct business online and by email. There will also be a drop box available. LINK to more

March 22

  • The city confirmed two more cases of COVID-19

That brought the official case count to 10 as of March 22. LINK to more

March 23

  • Gaines County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19

The first Gaines County case was reported as a travel-related case, not community spread. LINK to more

  • Terry County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19

A Meadow ISD employee tested positive for COVID-19. LINK to more

  • The Lubbock mayor orders all non-essential businesses to close.

Mayor Dan Pope ordered all non-essential businesses to close no later than March 24 at 6:00 pm. A list of essential versus non-essential business was provided in the order. LINK to more

March 24

  • Covenant Health releases instructions on how to make masks for local healthcare workers

Covenant Health released instructions on how people can make approved masks at home, either for themselves or for medical workers. LINK to more

  • UMC changed visitor policy due to virus

Tuesday afternoon, University Medical Center announced patients will be limited to one visitor at a time, according to UMC’s Facebook page. LINK to more

  • The City of Lubbock tries to clarify essential versus non-essential businesses.

Under the mayor’s disaster declaration, essential services remain open and must enforce social distancing. Non-essential businesses must close. But questions remained as to what is essential. LINK to more

  • Hale County confirms first case of COVID-19

The Plainview/Hale County Health Department confirmed its first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hale County LINK to more

  • The Lubbock city council pushes back the municipal elections in Lubbock from May 2 to November 3

The City Council approved an emergency measure to move the municipal elections from May 2 until November 3. LINK to more

  • Two more cases in Hockley County confirmed on Tuesday

Two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 or coronavirus were confirmed in Hockley County for a total of five. The newest case was described as community transmission. LINK to more

  • Gaines County has its first case of COVID-19

Gaines County Judge Tom Keyes said his adult daughter was the first confirmed positive COVID-19 case. He said she likely picked it up at an event in Lubbock. LINK to more

  • City of Lubbock confirmed two more cases in the afternoon and then two more cases again in the evening.

At this point, the total number of cases in Lubbock County was 14. LINK to more

  • Texas Tech orders staff to work from home except for certain critical personnel

Texas Tech said only critical personnel should be on campus. It was described as a Phase IV closed campus. LINK to more

March 25

  • The boys basketball tournament in Levelland, March 7, was described as a possible site where folks were exposed to COVID-19

None of the Hockley County cases were tied to the tournament, but some other West Texas cases might have been linked. LINK to more

  • Terry County confirms two new cases of COVID-19

The South Plains Public Health District confirmed two more cases of COVID-19, or coronavirus. LINK to more

  • Five more cases in Lubbock

As of March 25, 2020 at 1:00 p.m., the total number of cases in Lubbock County was 19. LINK to more

March 26

  • City of Lubbock confirms two cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are associated with Lubbock nursing facility

The city said two employees of Whisperwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 5502 4th Street, tested positive for Coronavirus. LINK to more

  • South Plains Public Health District confirms 4th case of COVID-19 in Terry County

The South Plains Public Health District confirmed one more case of COVID-19, bringing the total to four in Terry County. LINK to more

  • First Dawson County COVID-19 case confirmed

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Dawson County, according to the Lamesa Press-Reporter. LINK to more

  • Scurry County issues stay-at-home order to citizens amid COVID-19 outbreak

The order essentially states that residents are to stay in their homes except for a few activities, the county judge said. LINK to more

  • City of Lubbock reports four additional cases

The total number of cases in for Lubbock and Lubbock County was now 23. LINK to more

March 27

  • Lamb County officials confirm first case of COVID-19

County Judge Mike DeLoach announced the first local resident of Lamb County with confirmed case of COVID-19. LINK to more

  • Texas Tech to offer food & housing pro-rated refunds, honor graduates at a football game

In addition to food and housing credits, President Lawrence Schovanec also talked about the cancellation of in-person graduation ceremonies. LINK to more

  • Hockley County confirms 2 new cases of COVID-19

“As of this morning this brings the total number of confirmed cases for Hockley County to 7,” said Sharla Baldridge, Hockley County judge.

CLICK HERE for ongoing coverage of coronavirus — sometimes called COVID-19

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