Anderson County COVID-19 case numbers continue to escalate.

County officials reported 134 active COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing Anderson County’s total number of positive cases to 230, with 95 recovered. Last Tuesday, the county reported its first COVID-related death, a 76-year-old male.

Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston is encouraging all Anderson County residents to wear masks in public, in keeping with Gov. Greg Abbott's proclamation last week that made masks mandatory in public for all Texans in counties with 20 or more active cases of COVID-19. Violators face fines of up to $250.

Johnston also urges county residents to stay at home when at all possible and stay away from large groups of people, including extended family and friends.

The county and the Texas Department of Emergency Management/Texas Department of State Health Services team are hosting another Walk-Up COVID-19 test site at the Palestine Civic Center this weekend. The first 300 will be tested. The state has capped the number of tests at local sites so that state labs don't exceed processing capacity.

Johnston said the Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported 744 positive tests Monday at the Coffield Unit.

Anderson County's prisons have also reported two deaths.

As of Sunday, 10,410 Texans were in the hospital for coronavirus, 2,229 more than a week ago. They occupy 18.1 % of the states hospital beds.

There were 8,196 new cases reported in Texas on Sunday, bringing the total number of positive cases reported to 258,658.

As of Monday, 3,192 Texas had died from COVID-19.

As the numbers continue to rise, Gov. Greg Abbott warns Texans of a second state shutdown. Abbott pushed his ‘wear a mask or face shutdown’ message repeatedly in television interviews last week.

“The public needs to understand this was a very tough decision for me to make,” Abbott said in an interview with KLBK-TV of his face mask mandate. “I made clear that I made this tough decision for one reason: It was our last best effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. If we do not slow the spread of COVID-19 … the next step would have to be a lockdown.”

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