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City of Fredericksburg Issues Mandatory Face Mask Order

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Effective immediately, Fredericksburg residents and those visiting the Texas Hill Country city will now be required to wear a face mask or covering in all public places. Although the ordinance goes into effect now, businesses can develop and execute a Health & Safety Plan up until Monday, July 6, 2020. This must be visible to all visitors and employees and include other pandemic mitigation measures. Likewise, a supplemental face mask order was signed on Monday, June 29, 2020 by Mayor Gary Neffendorf, mandating that masks be worn by people age 10 and over in businesses where social distancing at a minimum of six feet is difficult, or when working in areas which require close proximity to others. No one can be punished by the police for not wearing a mask unless that person is in a business without a face mask and refuses to exit when told to do so.

In the order, examples of masks consist of such things as bandanas, homemade face coverings, and handkerchiefs. It was also advised that to avoid an unnecessary demand on equipment that first responders and healthcare workers will need, individuals should not wear medical masks or N-95 respirators. Face masks are not necessary outdoors, driving alone or with those who are reside in the same home, while operating outdoor equipment, or when pumping fuel. They are also not to be used in buildings that require security surveillance (i.e. a bank,) while eating or drinking, and when doing so poses a physical or mental safety or security risk.

City of Fredericksburg Issues Mandatory Face Mask Order

Photo: @Nodar via Twenty20

The Fredericksburg order also states that face coverings are not meant to be a replacement for the continued social distancing efforts which are being recommended and implemented throughout the state. Similarly, individuals are asked to continue frequent handwashing as well as going into self-isolation when ill. The mask measure is a secondary mitigation strategy in efforts to quell the spread of COVID-19.

If a commercial entity doesn’t comply with the creation of a Health & Safety Policy within seven days of this most recent order, the owner will be fined up to $1,000 for each day that the policy is left undeveloped.

City of Fredericksburg Issues Mandatory Face Mask Order

Photo: @svetlaya via Twenty20

In the meantime, all City of Fredericksburg facilities will continue daily employee temperature checks prior to entering restricted areas, and social distancing measures must be adhered to at all entrances. Citizens are requested to do their essential city business by phone, online, by regular mail, or by additional means that limit their need to access facilities. Temperature checks will also be required for all residents prior to entering restricted areas, and those with a temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit will not be permitted access. The order and all subsequent official pandemic mitigation efforts by the City of Fredericksburg is enforceable by the Fredericksburg Police Department or a Health Services Inspector under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.