MCLENNAN COUNTY, TX — There is still a lot of disagreement over making masks mandatory and closing down businesses to prevent further spread of COVID-19 within Central Texas, but with the numbers spiking city officials still agree masks are a must.
The numbers are growing. There are 111 new coronavirus cases in McLennan County on Wednesday after a huge spike of 162 on Tuesday. The number of COVID-19 related deaths in the county has now reached nine.
“McLennan County has a total number of confirmed cases of 1,068, 844 of which are currently active,” said Dr. Jackson Griggs.
“We have started to see exponential growth in new cases with the doubling of cases every three to four days, topping four hundred new cases as of last week's press conference,” said Mayor Kyle Deaver.
The McLennan County health district has urged the use of masks from the beginning, but there have been conflicting views from county officials... until now.
“It’s on us as individuals to be responsible, to be good citizens, and do what the experts advise you to do,” said County Judge Scott Felton.
“It takes between two and three weeks to see a measurable difference in the data after you make some change in behavior, so we would expect that the cases would continue to rise,” said Mayor Kyle Deaver.
After the rise in cases from Memorial Day weekend, county officials are even more concerned about the upcoming 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, for your parents and grandparents, just please take heed of what's happened in our community already. In the unbelievable spike in cases we are seeing right now... So yes I am extremely concerned about it,” said Mayor Kyle Deaver.
The main concern right now is hospital capacity. With cases continuing to rise exponentially, county officials worry about overwhelming the current health care system.
Mayor Kyle Deaver said we need to act like we are still in the shelter in place order. He also said wearing masks is part of an effort to help keep businesses open.