Counties must apply to be exempt from governor’s mask order
Texas counties with 20 or fewer active cases can apply for an exemption to the face-covering requirement, but with the holiday weekend, officials worry it will take days for approval
WEST TEXAS, Texas (KOSA) - The mask order issued by Governor Gregg Abbott on Thursday is causing some confusion around the state. For counties with small populations, like Jeff Davis County, their obstacles are unique.
The mask order that went into effect Friday at noon provides some exemptions for counties that have lower infection rates. But those exemptions are not automatic.
According to Governor Abbott’s executive order, counties with 20 or fewer active cases can apply for an exemption to the face-covering requirement. But that application then must be approved. And thanks to the holiday weekend, that approval isn’t likely to happen for days.
For counties like Jeff Davis, this leads to some issues. According to Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Francell, while Jeff Davis officially has only 4 cases, they have almost 200 outstanding tests.
Because they don’t know the true number of active cases, Francell said they aren’t even going to apply for the exemption.
According to Francell, that means for the time being the executive order applies to the residents of Jeff Davis County the same way it does to larger counties with more active cases.
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