BONHAM — Discussion to lift parts of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Covid-19 executive orders, including the mask mandate, dominated Tuesday’s Fannin County Commissioners’ Court meeting. Although the commissioners decided to wait another week for Covid-19 cases to lower further, County Judge Randy Moore hoped that a change would occur in the near future.
Moore directly quoted Abbott’s order in the meeting. Order GA 29 contains a clause allowing the mask mandate to be rendered inactive in counties with less than 20 active cases. Nine out of 246 total cases are active in Fannin County, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Moore would have removed the orders Tuesday, but one of the commissioners warned him that a nearby town possibly had 19 cases. If the cases broke past 20 again, the order would be reestablished as soon as it was removed.
“What has happened is, I’ve been watching this closely and I know many of you have also, but our numbers have dropped dramatically. Last week, we were zero. And we were two, we were three, we were seven. This morning, we’re nine. We were nine yesterday and the day before. And I didn’t just do this on my own. I talked to Dr. (James) Froelich, our county health authority, and I asked him what his opinion was on this, and he said, ‘Randy, I think it’s time to remove that order,’” Moore said.
The commissioners plan to wait another week to ensure cases continue to fall, after which they hope to submit the forms and lift the restrictions in place.
“With that being said, since I’m going to withhold that GA 29 order, we need to extend our current orders for one week. … And that would be all of them, 19, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 29 until I find out something different,” Moore said.
An outlier to nearby counties, Fannin County has significantly fewer Covid-19 cases than many of its surroundings.
In comparison, Lamar County had 128 active cases on Tuesday, Hunt County had 340, Grayson County had 41, Delta County had four, and Red River County had six, according to the state health department.
In addition to Covid-19 precautions, the Fannin County commissioners also discussed election information and finalized their budget amendments for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
The general election will take place Nov. 3 in Fannin County. The following county and precinct officers will be on the ballot: district judge, district attorney, sheriff, tax assessor collector, county commissioners for precincts one and three, and constables for precincts 1, 2, and 3.
“We are going through the budget process. We’re working on all our budgets, trying to get it in shape,” Moore said.
Moore also stated his preference on organizational structure in county offices. He indicated his desire to assign a supervisor to any department that is not overseen directly by an elected official. While most departments meet this standard, some do not, according to Moore. No action was taken during this meeting on his recommendation.