Washington County is no longer subject to Governor Greg Abbott’s mandatory facemask order.

County Judge John Durrenberger announced in a press release this (Friday) morning that the county has fallen below the threshold of 30 new COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period, which he says allows the county to opt out of Abbott’s mask mandate.

Durrenberger said he has been monitoring the daily new confirmed cases and that they have been below the state threshold for several weeks, thus allowing the county to opt out of the mandate.

According to Durrenberger, county officials discussed the possibility of applying for the exemption with City of Brenham and Burton officials, and it was decided that this was the time to make the request to the state.  Documentation was submitted to have the mandate waived, and the state approved the request late Thursday.

Durrenberger said this decision will allow business owners to make their own decision about the requirement of face coverings.  Some businesses or public facilities may continue to require face coverings, and elected officials ask that the public abide by their request.

In other circumstances, individuals may make their own decisions about wearing a mask, with Durrenberger saying the choice to wear one is now a “personal decision.”

If new confirmed cases rise above the threshold of 30 in a 14-day period, then the county will have to follow Abbott’s mandate and reapply for the exemption when the county’s cases fall below 30 in the given period.

County and city officials ask residents to remain vigilant and continue safe practices of social distancing and hand washing.

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  1. If anyone is wondering. We hit over the 30 new and active required in just a few days. Congratulations!

  2. That’s fine if he wants to lift the mask order. But with my job I have a State Liscense with TDLR and they have not lifted our mask order our clients wearing mask.

  3. I have read all of the 60 plus comments on this page and had to ask myself, is there any actual data regarding mask usage. The answer is simple, yes there is. I found a website https://rationalground.com/mask-charts/ that shows case data in many places around the world that includes when mask mandates were implemented. In almost every single data set, cases continued to climb after mask mandates were issued. I personally am forced to conclude BASED ON DATA that masks DO NOT WORK. Many of us have felt that way for a while, and in my opinion this data supports that conclusion. If you want to wear a mask, please do, but please leave the rest of us alone. After all, to quote another poster who borrowed a liberal phrase, it is my body and it should be my choice.

    1. Well you had to dig deep to find this well known medical authority. If you are just looking for an excuse not to wear a mask, fine don’t wear one. But don’t mislead people. MASKS WORK!. Try looking at Mayo Clinic. or the CDC website. But not some far right-wing propaganda site.

    2. The problem is that masks were NOT, and are STILL NOT being WORN CORRECTLY. You cannot wear a mask under your chin, not covering your nose, or not wear one at all, and then say the mask mandate implementation does no good! I have seen the non compliance when it comes to wearing mask time and time again. You are correct when you say it’s your body, your choice, but YOUR choice has an effect on others either positively or negatively. DON”T BE SELFISH!! No man is an island!!!

  4. For all the Liberals that want to keep us in masks forever, I’ll use your words against you…..My body, my choice, right? The biggest number and most vital number that NO ONE in the media reports is that INFECTIONS vs DEATH RATE is plummeting!! More people are testing positive because more people are getting tested, its not rocket science. Don’t tell me the reason that we are under the thresh hold for mask mandate because of mask wearing, BULL!! MOST of the people that I see wearing a mask wear it wrong so what’s the point? You have to wear the mask in the restaurant, take it off to eat, put it on to use the restroom, take it off to eat, put it on to leave? HMMMMM…. Touching your mask MULTIPLE times doesn’t expose you MORE? If you get a false sense of security wearing it, NO ONE is stopping you, WEAR it the rest of your life, I don’t care.

    1. If we stop testing people for cancer, pregnancy and other diseases the number of positive cases would go down. Think of all the money that could be saved since there would not be any more sickness. There is one negative though; doctors and medical professionals would no longer be needed. All of this because we stop testing! Smart, huh?
      Freedom means RESPONSIBILITY! Be intelligent and wear a mask to protect others in the SAME way that intelligent people would not cough or sneeze on another person … if they had common sense.

  5. Life is full of choices. The choice to wear a mask is a choice to help prevent the spread of a deadly disease and to help protect yourself. How easy is that! Wear a mask. Show responsibility and love and kindness for others.

  6. Oh My! Here is my opinion – Like it or not. I have always considered myself a true patriot and feel very fortunate to enjoy the freedoms this great country provide. With that being said – wearing the mask is not to protect you! It is to protect others since you could be a carrier and not know it. WHAT IF, after visiting someone close to you without wearing a mask, they get sick and die… somewhere in the back of your mind that will always eat at you – why risk it? For your “freedom”?
    Why do we get our cars inspected? One thing they check is to ensure the tail lights on our cars are working. This is not for our benefit, it is for the driver behind us. We don’t look at that as taking away our freedom – we look at is as a responsible act to have the privilege to drive a vehicle.
    Why not look at this in the same way?

    1. We totally agree! Finally, there is someone who understands what “FREEDOM” means.
      There are some intelligent people out there!

    2. Thank You!! In this “Great America” – more so now than ever before – there is an ABUNDANCE of It’s All About Me, Myself and I. #selfishness

  7. The CDC and the Center for Health Statistics (which is under the CDC) have not reported the overall number of deaths per month in the US since (March) If they did, we would know what the true damage of COVID is when compared with history. Why haven’t they reported those numbers I wonder? A death is a death right?
    The same goes for age at time of death. The CDC has not reported the median age at time of death from COVID. But they will tell you the average age at time of death overall for any cause is 78.7. Why won’t they tell you that simple number that only they have the numbers to give you?

    Media is happy to provide all sorts of numbers to you, but none are reliable and all could or do have an agenda.

    1. Must be a conspiracy, right. Or Fake News. If you really want the facts ( I sure you don’t), go to Johns Hopkins website. Or just keep your head in the sand.

      1. Having nothing but the a website name to give me when a directed web address is easy to provide along with the quoted information and reference and then you use a personal attack. In other words, what was the point of a reply to my post by “JaRicky”. Was that some sort of rebuttal?

        I am just pointing out that after 7 months of COVID season, two really big metrics are absent from the conversation entirely. I don’t know about you, but I can t get onboard with something like COVID until I know its true impact.

  8. The idea that a healthy person can endanger someone else by breathing is quite possibly the worst scam in the history of America.

    1. How do you know you are not a carrier. You can be Asymptomatic (means no symptoms for those county commissioners) and be spreading the covid germ. Or you can breathe in the germ and become a carrier. I am not sure why wearing a mask is such a problem.

    2. Agree!!!! And a person wearing a mask should not be worried about the ones who don’t if the masks actually work!!

  9. The fact is this order was unenforced by law enforcement in our county anyway. This has been an individual choice from the beginning and will continue to be so.

  10. Thats all I hear freedom for this and freedom for that.
    We are in a pandemic, and it’s easy to talk about freedom when you have not lost someone you love to or watched someone suffer. WEAR A MASK, PEOPLE ARE DIEING, DOES ANYONE CARE.. GOD HELP US!!

  11. The same people who won’t wear a mask are the same people who will NOT stay home if sick. I am contemplating wearing a sign that says..ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME! WHERE IS YOUR MASK?

  12. Thank you. God bless our FREE country. Freedom to your opinion and freedom to wear a mask or not.

  13. I say keep up the good work on wearing masks and social distancing. These things are what is keeping the numbers down in Washington County. We have put up with the MINOR inconvenience of doing these things and if requirements are taken away it will be very hard to reinstate them when/if the numbers start going up again.

    If you agree strongly about this, refuse to do your business where you are not safe due to the non-wearing of masks. Let these businesses know why you are not doing business with them.

    Please stay safe.

  14. If people are so concerned with masks you should start eating only clean, foods, STOP drinking beer and wine. Make It mandatory to run 5 miles and deadlift 225 10x… everyday. Stop watching TV and only read books. You need more then masks to fight the virus. I will just keep on living oh and I workout everyday.

  15. Ridiculous. It’s the mask mandate that drove the numbers down. So now that it’s been removed, the numbers will go RIGHT BACK UP. And we’ll be wearing masks again. Except another 50-100 people will be dead.

    For the love of G*D, just require masks until this passes.

    1. I agree totally with you……Don’t do business with places that don’t require the mask and let them know why.

  16. Some of you do realize that wearing a mask is only going to protect you from someone that may potentially pass it on to you, which also may keep it from you taking it home to your families, keeping you and your families safe. It’s not about freedom it’s about staying safe and keep everyone else around you. No one is holding you captive. It’s always been about how you want to present yourself in public. I believe we should continue to wear face covering rather than playing a puppet in hands of politicians.

    1. What business did you say you owned? Would love to know so we can stop going there? Wouldn’t want to offend you with our faces.

    2. Would love to know what your place of business is so I can patronize your business and while doing so, I know that you are looking out for yourself, your family and others in the community! Thank you!!

  17. Yes!!! Wearing of a mask should be a personal choice. Just like getting a flu shot… some do, some don’t. Thank you for trying to protect our freedoms during COVID. Your scared to get COVID please stay home. Masks don’t work. Many people are suffering more because of the requirements of COVID … please let us get back to our lives.

  18. Thank God! Finally the way it should be. If you are afraid of catching a virus then by all means wear a mask. But forcing everyone to wear one is not the cure. If you’re scared you’ll catch it when you go to the store how about you stay home. I for one will live life non contained and non controlled.

      1. Exactly! People like MS are the reason we’re in this situation! They believe all the conspiracy theories and drink the kool aid!

  19. All I can say to add to the above is that I agree with everyone who is saying that this governor and this mayor are totally ridiculous in
    taking away the mask mandate. It is obvious what keeps the cases down as to the last two people who have said free Washington… Do they not know anyone who has had Covid and lasting effects or do they just not care about anyone else’s welfare? Shame on you!

  20. Oh my , all the crying , if you love your mask you can keep it , they aren’t going to take your mask away , it’s now an option , oh wait that’s what they said about Obummer care , Hmmmmm.

    1. But if you get Covid and are asymptomatic, you won’t know that you’re sick, and won’t realize you need to stay home. That’s when you can give it others unintentionally.

  21. The only person responsible for your safety is yourself. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you don’t want to wear a mask, don’t wear a mask.

  22. I just want to put things in perspective by adding a few facts. COVID is a respiratory ailment with some flu-like symptoms. It mirrors the flu with the same seasonal and rate of spread. Just like the flu, those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible for it being life threatening if contracted. A big difference is HOW its spread. COVID isnt spread through the air, it is a contact spreader, hence the importance of hand washing & distancing. The masks are to keep minute fluid particles IN a person sneezing, coughing, breathing, etc in case that person is infected. They are NOT intended to keep the virus OUT because its not spread that way. That was not explained to the public and a ton of panic coulda been avoided if it was. The flu effects and kills at an extremely higher rate and it isnt even close. Take that into consideration and approach it this way….since they mirror each other and are more deadly to the exact same groups, view COVID as a serious flu. Take all the same precautions as you would to avoid the flu. This should reduce the stress, fear, and panic in most and it will cover the safety for all.

    1. They have proven it can go airborne hence the 6 ft apart. Masks have proven to work around the country no matter why your wearing it. The CDC has proven masks have saved lives so therefor masks are needed. Corona virus is based on SARS virus not the flu. The Flu death rate is not even comparable to Corona virus deaths. Plus, the Virus has after effects that some have carried for months. This is Nothing Like The Flu, except for Related initial symptoms.

    2. Where are you getting your information??? Researchers have established that Covid definitely CAN be spread through the air. Google it.

  23. Sounds like county and city officials are following politics instead of science and common sense. Seems like they were eager to get out of the mandate if two cities and the county worked together. Just wait now the flood gates have been opened and more lives will be lost because of this decision.

  24. Apparently Durrenberger has not lost a family member due to COVID. The numbers are down because people have been wearing masks. People need to take this pandemic more seriously.

  25. Have our officials ever thought that the decline in cases might be because of the mandate to wear masks. Now when we are going into the winter season, and cases are expected to rise, our leaders carelessly opt out of the mask mandate. Once again they seem to care less about our citizens. I don’t like masks either, but I want to do my part to protect our citizens and myself. People are now used to wearing masks and can continue to do so for a few more months. When we have an increase in cases and even deaths, this will be on their heads. Just as we need to clean out city hall on the next election, we might need to clean house at the court house as well! I am ashamed that I have in the past supported some of our city and county officials. And that is the way it looks to this concerned citizen.

  26. Ridiculous! Remember what happened the last time you didn’t mandate masks? Obviously not! With cases rising all around Texas, do you really want to go there again and have people get sick and some die? Just because you don’t have cases now, doesn’t mean they’re not coming. MASKS WORK!
    You can’t fix stupid but you can vote it out!

      1. CDC data says mask wearing helps mitigate the spread of COVID per a post on CDC website posted on Oct 9 2020.

        Widespread implementation and enforcement of sustained community mitigation measures, including mask wearing, informed by state and local officials’ continual data monitoring and collaboration can help prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and decrease the numbers of COVID-19 cases.

      2. Absolutely Not True! Show me where on the CDC’s website that it says masks do no good?? Plus common sense should tell you they do work and the CDC shows statistical proof that the do! Your just spreading misinformation.

      3. D . . . Be kind enough to let us all know where you learned about that CDC “data.” And, if masks didn’t work on viruses, why would healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 wear them? Please explain that, too!

  27. 2 more Cocid deaths this week (per the Banner).
    The virus is raging country (and world wide).
    Our county official wantS to turn our decision making over to local businesses.

  28. With COVID cases at an all time high, I cannot understand how a county with dozens of churches can have so many citizens who have no regard for the welfare of others. It is contrary to Christs teachings but yet these same persons seem to refer to the Bible as the major force of guidance in their lives. It is hypocrisy at its best. I fear it will take a great deal of pain and loss to bring us a world of peace and love.

    1. Glad to see our civil liberties returned… if anyone is concerned, they can stay at home and/or voluntarily social distance in public or wear a mask. Mask wearing often makes me feel sick and I see half of everyone not wearing them properly anyway. Way to go Washington.

    2. That’s just part of the great hypocrisy of churches around here. Statistically they are the least likely to wear masks, and yet claim to be of a religion where you are to “turn the other cheek”….not resist things that improve the welfare of others. They’re also probably the ones complaining the most about the mask mandates, even though they don’t participate when it is optional and the church services are exempted anyways.

    3. I am amazed out how so many like to take a shot at the church and assume that everyone who does something that they disagree with must be an uncaring, unloving, hypocrite. You cannot possibly know if these people or church members or not. The guidance on masks has not exactly been consistent and the application of the rules is literally all over the place. I watched a woman get hauled off of an airplane by police this weekend for not wearing a mask, but then everyone on the plane removed their masks to drink water and eat snacks. I can give tons of examples of the double standard that is applied. How about asking all the rioters why they are allowed to commit the crimes they commit while not wearing masks (which they should do to hide their identity, but you can’t fix stupid). This is a ridiculous unfounded statement that should not go unchallenged.

      1. My cousin died yesterday of covid he contacted in church. Also two aunts, their husbands and couple of cousins also got it at the same church at the same time. Other church members also contracted covid. So what was your arguement?

        1. I am sorry to hear about your family’s struggles with this virus.
          Maybe it is time to go to a different church?
          What is the main point?
          Did they have underlying health problems that the flu would also take advantage of?, Or are you trying to make a statement of panic that church and gatherings caused this? Or that the masks would of saved all involved?
          Please let us know.

    4. Thank you. Trying to be a follower of Jesus. “If your ‘rights’ trump responsility to neighbor you may be practicing religious ‘freedom’ but you are not practicing Christianity.” Lenny Duncan

  29. Rescinding this order is short sighted. The main reason we are below the threshold is mandatory use of masks. Why not continue a successful policy when cases and deaths are increasing across the country.

    1. That is great news.
      And no, the masks have little or no effect on the spread, as has been proven that wearing a face covering has minimal effectiveness only in a very crowded environment with no airflow.
      People have still been infected while wearing one all day.
      Also, this virus is 99.997% survivable, and fairly contagious.
      Most people will get it, or have already had it.
      Freedom of choice, way to go Judge!

    2. I will keep wearing my mask BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO DO SO and it is just plain old common sense! There is NO LAW that forbids me to continue wearing a face mask when in public. FREEDOM!!!

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