As of Monday, Nov. 16, the State has revoked the county’s lifting of the mask order because we exceeded the 14-day rolling total of over 30 confirmed cumulative daily cases. We not only exceeded it, but blew by it with over 80 cases. At this writing, I have had to close the courthouse because 90% of the personnel have had to test and quarantine because of the outbreak. I am writing this from quarantine. I will be running court by Zoom and working from home. I am not positive for COVID, just following the rules and retesting after three full days. If negative I can go back to the office on Thursday. Please be aware that the Governor’s Executive Order (GA-29) is still in effect. It carries the force of law. It is not, as some people think, something I nor the Commissioners can ignore. We took an oath to support the constitution of the U.S. and the State of Texas. Also, please be aware that enforcement is up to the local law enforcement authorities. They do not work for me. What we will be doing is asking the Fire Marshal/Emergency Manager to spot check bars and businesses and follow-up on any reported complaints of non-compliance. TABC will also be monitoring the bars for compliance. To not follow the Governor’s Order of social distancing and masks is a violation of the law. People can write all kinds of hateful things on social media, but that will not achieve anything. It is my responsibility to advise the public of the law and that is what I am doing.
Vaccines are getting closer and I believe they will be the answer to get us out of this mess. In the meantime, be aware that COVID-19 is real and it can kill. Be safe. Wear a mask. They really do work if you have the right mask. The right mask will protect you from others and others from you. It is the right thing to do. It is the courteous thing to do. It is the lawful thing to do. Please be safe. Please protect your families, yourselves and your neighbors. We can get through this.
Thanks for listening. Let’s keep Atascosa moving forward!
BOB HURLEY is the Atascosa County Judge. You may email him at countyjudge@ atascosacounty.texas.gov.