ABILENE, Texas – (KTAB/KRBC) — It’s been more than 3 months and Taylor County is still under a disaster declaration, and that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Following Governor Abbott, Taylor County decided to extend the disaster declaration for 30 more days.

Health Services Director Annette Lerma says people returning to a sense of normalcy may be responsible for a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“I think everyone is kind of assuming that it’s tied to reopening,” says Lerma.

She says having people in large gatherings does not help the situation at hand.

“People are starting to kind of go back to their normal lives, they’re wanting to go to organized events, gather with larger groups. That’s kind of what we’re seeing within positive cases,” says Lerma.

Despite some worrying about the spike in cases, she isn’t shocked.

“We did expect a spike as those bigger urban areas saw,” says Lerma.

Commissioner Chuck Statler explains that extending the disaster declaration helps the community as restrictions loosen up.

“It means you have a little more latitude to go in with 75% movement in restaurants and places that there were restrictions, some of those restrictions have eased up,” he says.

And as far as wearing masks goes, Statler says that’s up to you.

“If you are comfortable wearing a mask and it’s not mandatory, and you want to mask up in public settings, do so,” says Statler.