Here's some good news on the pandemic front, as COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the area, the local Emergency Operations Center will discontinue the use of the COVID hotline telephone number beginning Monday, March 22, 2021. Individuals can call individual departments for assistance:

Texarkana, Texas Office of Emergency Management (903) 798-3043

Texarkana Texas Fire Department (903) 798-3994

Texarkana-Bowie Family Health Clinic (903) 798-3250

Bowie County Office of Emergency Management (903) 628-6776

Locally, Texas DSHS has reported 39 new Bowie County cases since Friday for a total of 4,628 positive COVID-19 cases, and 2,104 probable cases with 195 deaths. The Department of State Health Services is reporting 468 active cases currently in Bowie County.

Free COVID-19 testing is still available at 902 W. 12th Street in Texarkana, Texas from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To make an appointment visit https://texas.fulgentgenetics.com/ or call 877-862-4647.

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LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.