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McLennan County officials worried about Independence Day impact on COVID-19 cases

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 19:45:34-04

McLennan County officials were anxious about the spread of COVID-19 going into the Independence Day weekend. For months, McLennan County had the lowest number of cases in Central Texas, but that has all changed.

Officials saw nearly 500 cases in the two days before the holiday weekend.

“You see it starting to trend upward on June 15, and that’s when we first saw what we call our double digits. We had 15 cases, and from June 15 on, it just increases and increases rapidly and doubles every couple of days,” said Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan County Health District.

The uptick exploded so quickly Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver asked residents to be responsible over the 4th of July weekend.

“We’ve seen what happened after Memorial Day, so for the good of our community, for the good of your family, your parents, your grandparents, just please take heed of what's happened already in our community and the unbelievable spike in cases that we are seeing right now,” said Mayor Deaver.

County health officials say residents let their guard down leading to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

“It is a combination of everything. The reopening of Texas began and there was a lot of relaxing. There was a moment of okay... let's have a little enjoyment. People traveled for little vacations,” said Craine.

As of Monday, more than 18,000 tests have been conducted and over 1,600 have come back positive. Mayor Deaver continues to stress the use of masks so that hopefully these numbers can drop within the upcoming weeks.

“It has been demonstrated now through numerous studies that that is the most helpful thing to stop the spread of coronavirus, so the quicker we can get everybody up and doing that, the better off we are," he said.

Craine says with the mask order and new mandates, it could take the whole month of July before we begin to see those numbers drop.