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Schools in a West Texas town were shut down after only a few days, and now CNN says the town is essentially closed.

The article shares the heartbreaking story of Iraan resident Sammy Balderas who was brought to a San Angelo hospital after coming down with COVID. His story was shared online by a friend of his wife, Vicky Zapata.

Sammy died last Thursday.
He passed away five days after an ICU bed became available for him and just hours after CNN's interview with Zapata.
Zapata went back to Facebook to thank everyone who had joined her in prayer just a week before.
"Thank you to everyone who prayed... Sammy is with Jesus," Zapata's post read.
Sammy's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at the town's football stadium, according to his obituary -- which also says Sammy's "infectious smile, laugh and the love he had for his family" will be cherished by those he left behind.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Balderas family and everyone in the Iraan community.

As sad as the story of Balderas is, CNN says Iraan could be a "microcosm of what might take place statewide as the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations remain high and as Gov. Greg Abbott continues to fight against mask mandates".

It seemed that just about everyone in Iraan knew someone who was fighting Covid-19. During a two-week span this month, 119 people were tested for the virus and 50 tested positive, according to Iraan General Hospital CEO Jason Rybolt. That's a 42% positivity rate.

"[I'm] very concerned for the community," Rybolt said. "Very concerned for trying to make sure that they have the healthcare that they need."

We would like to know what you think of this story. COVID has affected many people. Has it affected you? Do you think what is happening in Iraan could take place statewide as CNN suggests? Tell us what you think on Facebook or chat with us on our station app.

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