LLANO, Texas - While counties like Travis and Williamson battle large numbers of active COVID-19 cases, Llano County has dipped under 20 active cases and has been for most of August.
After a busy July dealing with more than 100 active cases, the county is now in a position where cases are low enough to opt out of the Governor's mandatory mask order, but it is choosing not to do so.
We reported on Monday that we had 15 cases and some of them have since recovered so we are at around 10 to 12 cases at this time," county judge Ron Cunningham said."
Because of their low case count, everything that can be open is open in Llano County, says Cunningham.
"I think we have a disciplined approach in Llano County as far as testing the local health authorities does testing Monday through Friday by appointment, the DHS has done multiple testing three different times," Cunningham said.
In Texas, by order from Gov. Greg Abbott, counties with 20 or more active cases must comply with the mandatory mask order. While Llano County has had fewer than 20 for a good part of the end of August, Cunningham says they are keeping the mask order for a number of reasons, the first being a recent slight increase in cases.
"We had dropped down to 8 or 9 cases then within the past week we've seen the numbers gradually rise about 2 cases every 3 or 4 days and got back up to 15 cases," Cunningham said.
Another reason is they want to see what happens with the start of school. "We got Llano ISD We got the Kingsland schools and the Llano Christian Academy, all three school districts are returning to classroom learning and we wanted to see how that was going impact the community before we move to opt-out with the state," Cunningham said.
Cunningham says they are also waiting on better communication from the state. However, if everything stays the way it is or gets better, the county's stance on the mask ordinance may change.
For now, the county will continue its testing efforts and work to keep its case count low.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.