County judges in East Texas are working to stop the spread of COVID-19

County judges in East Texas are working to stop the spread of COVID-19
File photo (Source: KTRE)

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - There are more than 4,400 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in East Texas. With Governor Abbott’s new executive state order in place, county judges in East Texas are working to stop the surge.

“It is the individuals. We all have personal responsibility to take care of our families and take care of ourselves,” said Don Lymbery, Angelina County judge.

County judges are asking people to maintain social distancing and wear masks when they can.

“We have talked to the city and been monitoring the businesses. As far as I know, the restaurants have been doing a good job,” said Greg Sowell, Nacogdoches County judge.

Even though long-term care facilities have had many cases, county judges say the cases are showing younger people getting infected daily.

The pandemic has been an ever-changing event and Sowell says they must be prepared.

“The hospitals are very, very capable of taking on any surge we might see here. Hospitalized as of yesterday, we had 12 cases between 2 hospitals here in Nacogdoches,” Sowell said.

Governor Abbott’s state order restricts gatherings of over 100 people.

“They need to call our office to discuss it so that I am aware. So, we can actually tell them ‘yeah that’s a good idea’ or ‘no you can’t do that,” Lymbery said.

In Shelby County, Judge Allison Harbison says she has not seen businesses enforcing mask-wearing.

“If you are uncomfortable and want to protect yourself and others, then wear a mask. But I am not going to mandate that you wear a mask,” Harbison said.

“Then, we have July 4th coming up. We have a big weekend coming. There is going to be a lot of people getting together. We have got to stop this spread,” Lymbery explained. “It’s something that we all have to do together. If we don’t work together on this, it’s not going to happen. And it is just going to continually get worse.”

For more information on the number of COVID-19 cases per county— go visit our KTRE homepage, scroll down and click in the big red box.

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