BONHAM — Fannin County cases have spiked, climbing from 82 to 112 in the space of a week, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Approximately 34 of the cases are active, the website states, and the number of deaths remains at seven.
Amid rising case counts not only in Fannin County but in the entire state of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that facial coverings will now be required by law. In a letter to residents, County Judge Randy Moore spoke out in favor of Abbott’s decision to enforce mask wear throughout the state of Texas.
“I am torn with how to manage the Covid-19 pandemic in our country and county. I hear the cries of ‘infringement of my rights’ and ‘nobody should tell me I have to wear a mask.’ Then, I see what is going on in other counties and cities. I see fear, despair, weariness, and concern,” Moore wrote.
He added that Fannin County was blessed to have few positive Covid-19 patients. However, he also reiterated the potential danger the virus poses.
“Our numbers are climbing … and rapidly. I think we should be grateful to wear a mask for a little while to keep someone from catching the virus. Current studies now show that up to 40% of people are asymptomatic. They never even know they have it, or it is very slight. They are still carriers and can spread it to individuals who may not be so fortunate to have a ‘slight’ case of it,” Moore said.
Later in his letter, Moore addressed Abbott’s decision and made a case for wearing masks or face coverings in public places.
“Some believe masks do not help. I understand that. I would like to believe that. Hospitals and clinics don’t. Why? They see firsthand that masks can make a difference. The question we must all ask ourselves is ‘do I care enough about my family, friends and neighbors to wear a mask for a while?’” he said.
He concluded by quoting Philippians 2:3-4, a verse about valuing others above oneself.
Moore’s letter received mixed online reactions. While some individuals seemed to support his words, several others compared him to Hitler or announced that they would not re-elect Moore as the County Judge.
Exceptions to Abbott’s decision include any person younger than 10 years old, any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing masks, those eating or drinking, and those seated at a restaurant to eat or drink. Those maintaining a safe distance from others outdoors or exercising do not need to wear a mask.
Those voting or participating in religious gatherings are not required to wear a mask, although face coverings are encouraged.