WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As recent COVID-19 cases rise in numbers, county officials around the state are thinking of issuing another stay at home order.
Wichita Falls is not planning on issuing a stay-at-home order right now but the lack of face coverings and social distancing by the public has local officials thinking of planning for it.
“We’re not seeing a whole lot of individuals wearing a mask out in public and that really is a cause for concern,” Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District director of health Lou Kreidler said.
“I think another lockdown is gone be a differently thought out animal to do that,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said. “I think there’s other things we can do to get people to take more personal responsibility. Maybe more people wearing masks, more people being more conscious of washing their hands.”
“That’s a decision that’s made by the mayor and city council and city leadership,” Kreidler said. “They’ll certainly ask for my input on that but it’s not my decision to make.”
And Kreidler also says the rise in positive cases isn’t from an increase in testing but from the lack of social distancing.
“I don’t think we’re having an overall increase in the number of individuals that are tested but we’re having an increase in the number of positives that we’re seeing from those individuals,” Kreidler said.
“Personally I really haven’t seen people social distancing or wearing masks honestly,” Midwestern State student Tatum Sharp said.
“Back home in New Mexico, I had to wear masks in Walmart and certain grocery stores because they wouldn’t let you come in. But here I haven’t worn a mask yet other than working,” Midwestern State student Avery Lewis said.
Even though another stay at home order may not be in store for Wichita County, local officials urge citizens to take care of themselves.
“I do think when you’re going out and you’re going to be in a situation where you can’t maintain social distancing, as in a grocery store a large retail store, that you need to be wearing a mask to protect yourself and your family,” Kreidler said.
“It’s just we need to become more conscious that we can see an upward trend as we become more mobile. Let’s try to do everything to protect ourselves and each other,” Gossom said.
Protecting individuals and families is the number one priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kreidler also says that a local lab is conducting coronavirus tests so the health district can get results faster and that test numbers will rise this week because of a recent drive-thru testing event with the Texas Department of Emergency Management.