FORT WORTH, Texas — Tarrant County officials extended a mandatory mask order through Nov. 30 Tuesday.
The move comes after the county health department recorded close to four weeks of downward trends in positive COVID-19 cases, positivity rate and reports of COVID-19 related illness.
Health officials warned residents not to become complacent.
“The virus isn’t gone,” said Vinny Taneja, director of the Tarrant County Department of Public Health. “There are still people out there who have the virus and may not even know it.”
While numbers are trending down, Taneja says hospitalization statistics aren’t where they need to be and acknowledges results can vary widely from day to day, likely because of testing and data delays.
Tarrant County reported 109 cases Monday and 411 cases Tuesday.
The upcoming Labor Day weekend is another concern. Cases and deaths spiked following the 4th of July and Memorial Day, Taneja said.
Glen Whitley, Tarrant County judge urged families to keep gatherings small.
“The last thing in the world we want to do this time is to relax,” Whitley said. “Wash your hands, wear your masks, social distance, stay at home when you can.”
While statistics look promising, health officials said there are too many variables to loosen restrictions.
Whitley encouraged residents to continue to their part.
“If we can just stay the course from now until maybe the end of September…hopefully we can really flatten this thing out and begin to move back toward normal.”