Mayor Bob Brown and the city of Lufkin are issuing an emergency advisory directive calling on people to wear masks while in public.
The advisory calls for commercial establishments to post a sign requiring anyone over the age of 10 to wear some kind of covering over their nose and mouth while in the establishment.
“Ultimately, it is the individual responsibility of each person to protect themselves, their families, and others in our community. We are asking our commercial establishments and residents to work together to help us get through this difficult time,” said Mayor Bob Brown.
This comes after the city’s message on Friday that Brown was considering implementing an emergency mask regulation.
“The battle with COVID-19 is far from over. We’re still in the middle of the fight and no one needs to let their guard down,” said Gerald Williamson, director of public safety. “Let’s wear our masks, practice social distancing and personal hygiene. Do your part to slow the spread of COVID in Lufkin.”
However, Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order states: “Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings, but no jurisdiction can impose a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering.”
Therefore, the order cannot be compulsory.
The order encourages people to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, maintain six feet of distance between oneself and others in public, use hand sanitizer when needed, stay home when sick and wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible.
As of Monday afternoon, Angelina County has had 789 patients test positive for the new coronavirus and 14 coronavirus-related deaths, including those from the Duncan Unit in Diboll.
The Angelina County & Cities Health District is reporting 476 positive tests with 225 estimated recoveries and six deaths.
The Duncan Unit is reporting 270 offender cases and 43 employee cases, according to information from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Of the offender cases, 81 are active and 189 are recovered. Of the employee cases, 28 are active while 15 have recovered.
The Duncan Unit is reporting eight coronavirus-related deaths as of Monday. There are 208 offenders on medical restriction and 98 in medical isolation.
As of Saturday, Nacogdoches reported 369 total cases, 283 estimated recoveries and 24 deaths.
The health district also reported 113 positive tests in Polk County with 42 estimated recoveries and 105 positive tests with 34 recoveries and seven deaths in San Augustine County.
As of Monday morning, the state was reporting 148,723 cases, 2,393 fatalities and an estimated 79,974 recoveries.
In the release on Friday, Williamson included statistics from the Department of State Health Services. The DSHS designates Trauma Service Area H as Angelina, Nacogdoches, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto and Tyler counties with a total estimated population of 272,151.
As of Friday morning in Area H, there were:
■ 35 lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations
■ 556 staffed hospital beds
■ 200 available hospital beds
■ 18 available ICU beds
■ 111 available ventilators