SAN ANGELO, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott has now said that city mayors and county judges in Texas can restrict outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd said that while he’d rather not reinstate restrictions, the increase in number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the area is concerning.

“We have events coming up within this community, such as the drag boat races and the Far West Texas Judges Commissioners Conference. We’ll have to monitor our current situation. There’s a lot of planning and financial risk involved, and people who travel to these. If we take actions now, we’ll feel much better about allowing them to proceed with those activities,” explained Judge Floyd, “We’re thinking it’s the recreational outdoor areas people are congregating in. Sometimes they get a little relaxed and are mixing with families and groups and others who are from out of town. We had some problems early in the summer and shut down parks. I have no desire to do that again but we may look at restricting some things to monitor if our actions influence the numbers.”

He said a big topic of conversation is face masks and that local officials have the authority to mandate businesses to require them for employees and customers.

“Local authorities can require businesses to require masks for patrons and employees. There’s been light discussion about it but I don’t think there’s an appetite for that here. That would be a decision made through the city and health authority. Of course, businesses can choose to require them,” added Judge Floyd.

Judge Floyd also said that while the number of cases is rising, he is grateful Tom Green County isn’t seeing the same problems as other areas across the state.

“The hospitals are in good shape as of this morning. They have good supplies. Test results are delaying again just because of the number of testing going on statewide,” continued Judge Floyd.

And he asks citizens to do their part to contain the virus.

“We’d like the general public to be aware of the situation, asses it and realize it’s not just them we’re concerned about, but also their family and friends. My family and friends live in this community, we’re all wanting to be safe,” said Judge Floyd.

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