North Texas Organization Hosts Panel to Educate Public COVID-19

The Chris Howell Foundation answered any lingering questions or concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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While the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to improve, a North Texas organization said it was still dedicated to connecting communities to the right resources.

The Chris Howell Foundation hosted a panel Saturday in Fort Worth featuring medical experts in an effort to answer any lingering questions or concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Marlo Jefferson of Fort Worth said she did not originally plan to attend the event, but she thought about her experience with the vaccine. She received the booster dose in January and wanted clarifications on her symptoms.

“When I got my booster shot, I also got my pneumonia shot. The very next day, I was sick. I had gotten a lot of symptoms. I wasn’t sure what caused it,” Jefferson said.

Like Jefferson, Bobbie Edmonds of Fort Worth has been fully vaccinated for months. She said she still has friends and family members who are hesitant.

“There are so many misconceptions that they don’t have to take it or that it makes you sick, or that the government is pushing this to get rid of people,” she said.

On the panel Saturday was Dr. Mark Johnson, a physician at JPS’ Healing Wings Clinic in Fort Worth. Dr. Johnson said one of the things he and colleagues continue to combat two years into the pandemic is misinformation.

“The number one health determent in the world. Not money, class, not race. It’s education about one’s body in a situation,” Johnson said. “This is more than keeping people out of the hospital. This is long-term population health that we need to address. I promise you, long COVID syndrome is probably going to affect my primary care practice in the long-term.”

Though COVID-19 metrics are improving in Tarrant County, foundation CEO Chris Howell said the information they were sharing Saturday was more important now than ever.

“We’re no longer seeing some of the [federal] testing sites. We’re no longer seeing the vaccine sites. So, we’re trying to make sure folks are armed themselves,” he said.

This week, the city of Fort Worth announced it will temporarily cease certain COVID-19 operations beginning Monday, March 28 as demand for testing and vaccinations continues to decline.

The city will continue to offer testing and vaccinations for special requests and pop-up events, as needed. It will also continue to offer vaccinations for homebound residents needing to complete patient series every Friday, as needed.

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