Health officials push masking as Gov. Abbott restricts local mask mandates

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order prohibiting counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, and government officials from requiring masks.

Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana says the city is in a good place regarding COVID. But with a recent increase in COVID cases, health officials are reminding people to stay vigilant against the virus.

Masks haven’t been required in the state of Texas since March.

“It’s just too tough to tell the citizens put a mask on, don’t put a mask on. It’s really tough so we follow the governor’s orders and of course here at the City of Wichita Falls we kind of have a courtesy factor if you wanna wear a mask or not but I think that’s working best for the city,” Santellana said.

On May 16th, the state of Texas hit multiple milestones by seeing the lowest statewide number of new cases since last March, the lowest number of hospitalizations since June 2020, and the first day without a COVID-related death since March 2020.

Wichita County hit a milestone two days prior with its first COVID death in more than a month.

“Texas has been out in the forefront of those states that were among the first to lift the mask mandate. I think we just have to be cautious and we have to continue those precautions that we have in place,” Wichita County Director of Health Lou Kreidler said.

With the county also seeing the highest positivity rate since January, Kreidler is insisting the public stay vigilant against the virus and mask up even if you are vaccinated.

“It’s a difficult situation, difficult place for people to be and we really depend on people to monitor themselves and to know if they’re not vaccinated, the right thing to do is to continue to wear a mask,” Kreidler said.

Since Texas dropped its COVID restrictions, cases have not risen dramatically statewide and health officials push safety parameters to keep it that way.

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July 23 2021 05:30 am

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