County Judge Issues New COVID-19 Order, Makes Masks Mandatory

Consistent with Executive Order GA-26 issued by Governor Greg Abbott, no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals for failure to wear a face covering.

PLEASE NOTE…
Consistent with Executive Order GA-26 issued by Governor Greg Abbott, no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals for failure to wear a face covering. 

Hays County has released an updated release, which can be read here

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX — Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra today issued a new executive order that, among other provisions, requires face coverings be worn in public.

From the steps of the Historic Hays County Courthouse, Judge Becerra announced the new Order, which closely models what several other Central Texas counties are implementing.

“With our COVID-19 case counts increasing rapidly here in Hays County, including the 210 cases today alone,” he said, “it’s important that we get back to doing those simple things that can help protect the most vulnerable in our community.”

Effective Monday, June 22, Judge Becerra’s new Order will accomplish three things:

  1. Continue the local disaster declaration and public health emergency here in Hays County
  2. Require all commercial entities in Hays to develop and implement a health and safety policy, and
  3. Require all people 10 and older to wear a face-covering when in public, when unable to keep six feet away from other people.

This Order, which is detailed below, expires July 20, 2020.

Continuation of Executive Order

This Executive Order shall continue the local disaster declaration and public health emergency for Hays County for the period specified in Order and shall incorporate and adopt the most recent executive order GA-26 issued by Governor Greg Abbott on June 3, 2020, and any subsequent orders by the Governor relating to the expanded opening of Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster.

Health & Safety Policies

From the date of this Executive Order, all commercial entities in Hays County providing goods or services directly the public must develop and implement a health and safety policy (“Health and Safety Policy”).

The policy must require, at a minimum, that all employees or visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible.

The Health and Safety Policy required to be developed and implemented by this Executive Order may also include the implementation of other mitigating measures designed to control and reduce the transmission of COVID-19 such as temperature checks or health screenings.

Commercial entities must post the Health and Safety Policy required by this Executive Order in a conspicuous location sufficient to provide notice to employees and visitors of all health and safety requirements.

Failure to develop and implement the Health and Safety Policy required by this Executive Order within five (5) calendar days following the Effective Date may result in a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

Wearing Face Coverings

All people 10 years or older shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public place within Hays County where it is difficult to keep six feet away from other people or working in areas that involve close proximity with other coworkers.

The CDC advises face coverings for people 2 years or older. Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas, or a handkerchief.

Hays County residents should continue to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet while outside their home.

Hays County employees are also required to wear face coverings under the same circumstances as the general public.

Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
  • While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
  • While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment
  • While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening, for example, banks
  • When consuming food or drink

Please note: Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent handwashing, and self-isolation when sick.

All people should follow Centers for Disease Control recommendations for how to wear and take off a mask. Residents should employ the following habits while in public:

  • Washing hands before you leave home and when you return,
  • Staying at least six feet away from others,
  • Avoiding touching nose or face,
  • Not using disposable masks more than three times, and
  • Washing reusable cloth masks regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.

Consistent with Executive Order GA-26 issued by Governor Greg Abbott, no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals for failure to wear a face covering.

Emergency Operations Director Alex Villalobos said during the conference that Hays County has also helped local families by providing 3,000 families with food through two mass distributions.

In addition, in conjunction with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Army National Guard, the County has offered free COVID-19 testing for several thousand residents.           

Judge Becerra reiterated that it’s important for residents and businesses to work together.

“I feel it is necessary to issue an order to slow the aggressive spread of this relentless virus,” he said. “This is not a fight we can give up on, the pandemic is far from over.”

The order can be viewed below or here.

COVID19_4th Order Hays Co6.18.20

Related Articles

4 Comments

  1. We are living in Bizarro World. How do you reconcile not-mandatory with the authority to make masks mandatory?

    We are actively trying to drive ourselves into bankruptcy and the loony bin. This needs to stop.

    At first it was 15 days to fatten the curve, but never mind the mask. Then it was two more week, but we encourage you to wear masks. We are now over three full months. Three months that feel like 3 years. Every is tired. Everyone is frustrated. Twenty-Million people were needlessly put out of a job. An untold number of business were artificially satiate the COVID fairy.

    Yet none of this has been prove to do anything but increase domestic violence, suicides, and the fatality rate of automobile accidents. Masks have been proven ineffective. So have the plexi-glass barriers. Blindly follow the unscientific ramblings of bureaucrats that need to “do something” in order to protect their budgets.

    CRAZY!

  2. Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

    When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
    – Walking

    While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
    – (fools still do)

    When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
    – mental… being PO’d because some snot nosed college kid is going to harass me about wearing a mask
    – physical… breathing
    – safety… masks might interfere with other hearing, vision, or protective aids
    – security… see a lot of masks in those “peaceful protests” + below

    While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening, for example, banks
    – some businesses are more worthy of protection that others.

    When consuming food or drink
    – hydrate people, hydrate

  3. There have been millions of words from govt on how to take action to safeguard ourselves; a bit like”duck and cover”of the Cold War Era. But not one word on how they plan to kill this virus once and for all.

    1. Because they can’t. We just have to learn to live with it. First step, get back to work. Second step, protect the most vulnerable (grandma). Third, herd immunity. Fourth, wonder why we didn’t do that sooner.

      Then, in 134 days, boot the idiots that had us locked down in the first place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close
Close