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Public Health Districts stress the importance of wearing masks in public

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 18:58:59-04

This week, the McLennan County Public Health District announced a fifth COVID-19 related death.

As COVID-19 cases continue to soar, wearing a mask is important now more than ever.

When you’re out and about, you may have noticed a lot less people wearing masks. Reopening the state has brought a lot of excitement, but that doesn’t mean COVID-19 went away.

The McLennan County Public Health District says the reason people have quit wearing masks or even social distancing may be due to a new condition...COVID fatigue.

“Its been a big strain for everybody, its been very emotional and difficult to make those sacrifices and stay home and not be with our friends and family and not be able to go to work,”said Kelly Craine.

It's also a sentiment being echoed by some elected officials.

“I see a lot of people without masks. To me, if you're concerned about you’re own health, then maybe you should be wearing a mask. And if you have any kind of symptoms, you shouldn't even be there,”said Duane Peters.

The CDC and health experts agree that wearing a mask is a successful way to stop the spread. While it may not protect the wearer, it protects the virus from spreading to others because studies show respiratory droplets can travel up to six feet, which is two arms lengths.

“This barrier will stop that before you have symptoms. These symptoms for COVID mimic allergies and a simple cold so easily in the beginning," said Kelly Craine.

Governor Greg Abbott has not made it mandatory for people to wear masks in public, but as the case count continues to climb, many businesses and companies are making their own call.

“No matter if the Governor puts an order out, or if the mayor or the county judge puts an order out, who enforces it? And if you don’t have anybody to enforce it, and really I don’t think we should direct law enforcement's time to be going to check on people to see if they’re wearing a mask or not," said Duane Peters.

Meanwhile, there is no law stating that businesses can’t set their own rules for what individuals must wear when they’re in their establishment.

Right now in Waco, the only businesses that are requiring customers to wear facial coverings are mostly barbershops, nail and hair salons.