McLENNAN COUNTY, Texas – The topic of masks and face coverings was center stage during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing with Waco and McLennan County officials.
The annual events WestFest and the Margarita and Salsa Festival have both been canceled.
No fines have been issued during the current order for face masks. It was said the order is keeping counties healthy, and are helping businesses stay open. The order may be in effect for a few months instead of a few weeks.
Residents are urged to stay at home and to not gather in groups for the Fourth of July.
It was said that the state of Texas is the fifth most infected state, with the high COVID-19 numbers.
Dr. Jackson Griggs says the Family Health Center received a letter from a commercial lab indicating they were dealing with the largest delivery of specimen, and is “temporarily suspending all routing COVID-19 testing until further notice.” They are working to clear their backlog.
They say if you can’t be tested, you need to self isolate.
It was said that many hurting right now due to bars being closed. Gov. Greg Abbott was forced to take action to try to slow the spread – a bar environment is hard to maintain social distance in.
Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver is concerned Gov. Abbott will have to take more drastic action if COVID cases continue to rise. Deaver says the last thing anyone wants is to put the mask order in place to avoid a Shelter-in-Place. A possible mask order can last many months, and not just few weeks.
The type of face masks that work best are ones with multiple layers, and the lowest performing masks are made from synthetic materials.
By state law, a county or city cannot order any face coverings at election polls – but voters are encouraged to wear masks to protect other voters and poll workers.
They said the McLennan County face covering requirement will hopefully help the community become healthy, while also helping businesses.