UVALDE COUNTY, Texas – Uvalde County officials announced Monday that a mask mandate would once again be enforced following a surge in COVID-19 cases.
As of Nov. 9, the county has counted 900 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak of the virus. According to the county health authority, Dr. Jared Reading, in the last two weeks, the county has seen 47 new cases of the virus, a spike that has not been seen in the county since the summer.
“I just want people to know that we have been skyrocketing in cases,” Reading said. “It’s increasing rapidly and now is the time to pull back so we can keep our family and friends safe again.”
Reading said many of the cases were spread from family gatherings saying, “Our activities need to be curbed.”
Uvalde County Judge William R. Mitchell said that the mask mandate will help slow the spread of the virus locally.
“We’ve got to continue to wear our masks and do our social distancing,” Mitchell said. "Those seem to be the best things at combating the virus.”
To date, the virus has claimed the lives of 40 people in the county.
As cases begin to surge, Mayor of Uvalde Don McLaughlin said wearing a mask is the smart thing to do to prevent the spread of the virus.
“As our cases have grown we have now fallen under the governor’s executive order," McLaughlin said. "So, the mandatory mask mandate is back, it’s not us, it’s the governor. But you know what, with the cases growing it’s the smart thing to do.”
McLaughlin said that people who disagree with the mask mandate still must do their part to slow the spread of the virus, even if they do not like wearing masks.
“Before the naysayers start -- you don’t like the mask? None of us like the mask either, but this is what we’re going to have to do,” McLaughlin said. “So, just put your big boy pants on and wear your mask and do what you need to do and we’ll get through this together.”
Read the mask mandate from the governor’s office in full below: