Cass County Judge reverses decision to enforce Governor's order
Cass County Judge Becky Wilbanks has reversed her decision to enforce Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order mandating face masks.
The order by Abbott mandates that citizens to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.
The order states that face coverings should be worn "inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household."
In a press release, Wilbanks wrote today, "From the beginning, this COVID-19 pandemic has thrown all of us into a world where there is no map or direction on how to navigate. Basically, we have navigated by “the seat of our pants” trying to do what is in the best interest of our residents for their health and well-being based on the information we are given. As a public leader, this has been very difficult especially due to the lack of direct guidance from the Office of the Governor and the Texas Department of Emergency Management both of which have been very ambiguous in their directives.
I came to the preliminary decision yesterday at 4:30 pm not to opt out of the Governor's Executive Order 29 at that time after looking at the sudden rise in active cases, consultation with health authorities and others, and to allow more time to reassess our numbers. After having additional time to reassess our status and after more consultations, I have decided to opt out of the Governor's Order. If our active case number reaches the 20 mark, we will then automatically be under the Governor's Order.
The choice to opt out of the Governor's Order does not however free us to opt out of using common sense. We must be self-responsible to do what is good and what is right. Please continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC."
Wilbanks announced yesterday that she would not seek exemption from the order due to a recent spike in cases.
"Cass County has, at this time, the highest number of active cases that we have had since the beginning of this pandemic. We experienced a large spike in our number of active cases today. Because of that recent spike, at this time, we are not filing for an exemption of GA-29. We will continue to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary."