This mask at the top of the page (or one like it) may save your life this summer. Actually wearing it is what makes the magic happen.

Here in Victoria we no longer get daily briefings from the city about coronavirus, but they have promised to send word to all media outlets if they plan on having another briefing. In Victoria, the COVID-19 hotline that was supposed to be the lifeline of information for the community about the virus is now only available weekdays from 10a to 3p. It used to be available all day.

While this may indicate our experience with the virus has not been as severe as in other places, that can all change in a heartbeat. The virus is just as dangerous to you or me today as it was 2 months ago.

While we hope that everyone has a safe experience during phase 2 of reopening, the numbers of positive cases just continue to climb as more and more testing is done throughout the state. Business Insider.com reports that Texas announced a new single-day record for new cases of COVID-19 when the Texas Department of State Health Services announced 1801 new cases in a 24-hour period. This took place on Saturday the 16th. While some news outlets reported this as an "outbreak" others pointed out the increase in testing will inevitably lead to larger numbers. The issue of COVID-19 cases at meatpacking plants in the Panhandle is also part of the spike in numbers.

What this means as we head into Memorial Day Weekend is that the virus is certainly still with us and that taking precautions like wearing a mask might just be the one thing that prevents you or a loved one from catching the virus.

CNBC.com has some pretty interesting info about a new study on wearing masks, and how just by wearing them, we can really reduce the transmission rate of the virus by a significant percentage. The study was done over the last couple of months in Hong Kong. You can dive into this further by checking out the story here. The results show that COVID-19's transmission rate from droplets or particles in the air is reduced by as much as 75% when surgical masks are used. The study also showed that transmission of the virus was reduced by 50% when an infected individual wore a surgical mask.

We continue to pray for our state, and our healthcare and front line workers. Remember to continue to wash your hands regularly, remember not to touch your face, and to bring your mask or face-covering with you at all times if you are traveling outside of your home. All these things will help to keep you and your family at a lower risk.

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