Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said on a press call at 5:45 pm yesterday that the county “found” six recoveries of COVID-19 after Governor Abbott’s executive order requiring masks statewide that was announced at approximately 3:30 pm. These “found” recoveries would allow Hopkins County to apply for exemption from the mask order.
The recoveries would take the county’s claimed number of active cases to 20. 20 active cases is the maximum allowed by the state’s potential exemption. Should Hopkins County receive the exemption and then go above 20 active cases, the mask order would go back into effect.
Newsom had previously reported the active case total as 26 on the 3 pm Thursday call with the press. Seven new confirmed cases were reported on that call. One that was reported to the county on Thursday and six that had been reported to the county on Wednesday.
According to the Hopkins County Hospital District, “Recovered Cases are released under the CDC guidelines and a local physician authority.”
The state’s case-tracking website currently lists Hopkins County with 69 total cases and 40 recoveries. It is unclear whether the state will use their numbers or the numbers provided by Hopkins County in regards to the mask order exemption.
Newsom also announced that the county has already filed the application for the exemption. A list of counties approved for exemption can be found at the bottom of: https://tdem.texas.gov/ga29/. The executive order states, “TDEM shall maintain on its website a list of counties that are not subject to this face-covering requirement.” Hopkins County is not yet on the exempt list.
There are 79 COVID-19 tests pending results currently, according to the Hopkins County Hospital District.
Residents of Hopkins County will be subject to the governor’s mask requirements beginning at 12:01 pm on Friday.