Information regarding new cases of COVID-19/Coronavirus in Sutton County has become more difficult to come by these days.

A review of data collected from multiple sources shows at least 17 local residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

At least one person is hospitalized due to the virus.

Three people have recovered from the virus, according to local officials.

These sources include Sutton County Judge Steve Smith, Department of State Health Services, LMH Hospital and the San Angelo Health Department.

All of the individuals who tested positive and are considered still active are quarantined and have been instructed to stay at home and away from others in the community, according to Judge Smith.

In an effort to continue mitigating the spread of coronavirus in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Thursday, July 2, requiring Texans living in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in a business or other public building, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible Along with his order, Abbott released a video message saying the latest coronavirus numbers in the state “reveal a very stark reality.”

“COVID-19 is not going away,” Gov. Abbott said. “In fact, it’s getting worse. Now, more than ever, action by everyone is needed until treatments are available for COVID-19.”

In response to the announcement, Judge Smith filed for an exemption to the mandatory mask order for Sutton County. The request was approved by the governor’s office and Sutton County is listed on the state’s website as exempt from the mandatory statewide requirement for now, according to Smith said.

Sutton County will remain exempt from the mask mandate as long as the total positive cases remain under 20, he added.

Meanwhile, Gov. Abbott emphasized the need to wear protective face coverings, “I have joined the medical experts in consistently encouraging people to use face coverings, and health authorities have repeatedly emphasized that wearing face coverings is one of the most important and effective tools for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Given the current status of COVID-19 in Texas, requiring the use of face coverings is a targeted response that can combat the threat to public health using the least restrictive means.”

The mandate says every person in Texas is required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public.

Additionally, face coverings are required when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.

Following his requirement means being able to avoid more extreme measures in the future, he added.

To help ensure Texans comply with his order, Gov. Abbott said local law enforcement and other local officials, as appropriate, “can and should enforce this executive order.”

Moreover, wearing a face covering is important to protect oneself, but to avoid unknowingly harming fellow Texans, Gov. Abbott said. Especially given that many people who go into public may have COVID-19 without knowing it because they have no symptoms.

Failure to comply with any executive order issued during the COVID-19 disaster is an offense punishable by fine.

First-time violators will be issued a warning. Repeat offenders could be fined up to $250 per offense, according to the governor’s office.

The state mask mandate went into effect this past Friday, July 3.

However, there are a few exceptions. A list of those who do not have to comply with the mask mandate includes the following:

• any person younger than 10 years of age;

• any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;

• any person consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;

• any person (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;

• any person while driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;

• any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;

• any person who is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;

• any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;

• any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;

• any person giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience

• any person in a county (a) that meets the requisite criteria promulgated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, and (b) whose county judge has affirmatively opted-out of this face-covering requirement by filing with TDEM the required face-covering attestation form-provided, however, that wearing a face covering is highly recommended, and every county is strongly encouraged to follow these face-covering standards.

Texas is now fourth in the nation to lead in the total number of coronavirus cases. States leading in the number of positive cases are:

According to the State Department of Health Services (SDHS), hospitalizations related to the virus are also at record numbers and the daily rate of infection does not appear to be slowing.

Presently, Texas has 210,585 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The number of people who have recovered from the virus is 108,485.

The total number of deaths reported in Texas due to COVID-19 is 2,715.

Sutton County COVID-19 Case Count

June 18, 2020
1) a male in his 60s - travel related

June 22, 2020
2)   a male in his 40s 
3)   a female in her 40s - One travel related; 
      one exposure to a known case

June 27, 2020
4)   a male in his 60s - hospitalized

June 29, 2020
5)   a female in her 70s

July 1, 2020
6)   a female in her 60s - exposure to a known case
7)   a male in his 30s
8)   a male in his 50s - travel related
9)   a female in her 60s - travel related
10) a male in his 50s
11) a male in his 20s
12) a female in her 20s - (San Angelo Health Department)

July 3, 2020
13) a female in her 60s - (San Angelo Health Department)
14) a female in her 90s - (San Angelo Health Department)
15) a female in her 20s - (San Angelo Health Department)
July 8, 2020
16) a female in her 30s
17) a female in her teens