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Number increases to 46
By James McAfee/The Knox County News-Courier—
A spike in active COVID-19 cases in Knox County, jumping from 11 to 46 in a week, means the county now falls under Gov. Greg Abbott’s mandate requiring everyone to wear masks when out in public.
“It’s time for everybody to take all the precautions you can,” Knox County Judge Stan Wojcik said. “And I advise everyone wear masks.”
Dr. Rodney Sholty added there had been a crisis at the Munday Nursing Center that contributed to the rise in number of cases. He said 100 residents had been tested by the state last weekend, which was another reason for the spike.
Abbott said last week that if the spread of the virus didn’t slow, “the next step would have to be a lockdown.” But in a television interview Thursday, Abbott said that there have been rumors of such a move and stressed that they were not true. “Let me tell you, there is no shutdown coming,” he told KRIV-TV in Houston.
Abbott pointed to measures he’s taken in recent weeks, including a statewide mask mandate and an order shutting down bars, to slow the spread of the virus. It will take a few weeks to see a reversal in coronavirus case surges, he said.
He has repeatedly stressed that, if people wear masks, he’ll be able to avoid shutting down the state. On Wednesday, he told KPRC-TV in Houston that it seems as though people ask him about a shutdown “like a thousand times a day.”
“People are panicking, thinking I’m about to shut down Texas again,” he said. “The answer is no. That is not the goal. I’ve been abundantly clear. We are certainly not out of the woods yet, but the only way we can avoid a shutdown is if we do get everybody buying into this process of wearing a face mask.”