College Station Mayor Karl Mooney signed an emergency order late Thursday night that requires both employees and visitors to wear face masks in College Station businesses. The order received unanimous support from city council members and will be effective June 29 at 6 a.m. and will expire on July 10 at 11:50 p.m.
This order comes after The Brazos County Health District reported 1,493 total cases of COVID-19 on June 25, 782 of which are considered active. The positivity rate in Brazos County was last reported at 24.39 percent; over 10 percent more than Texas’ overall positivity rate.
According to the order, all people over the age of 10 must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public place where it is difficult to maintain the CDC recommended 6 feet of social distancing. Each day a business fails to comply will result in up to $1000 fine.
“Face coverings are a secondary strategy to other mitigation efforts. Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent handwashing, quarantining, and self-isolation when sick,” the order reads.
Face coverings may include scarfs, bandanas, handkerchiefs or homemade masks. The order recommends that visitors and residents not obtain medical masks or N-95 respirators, as they are a needed resource for health care officials.
The order states that circumstances where individuals do not have to wear a mask include:
- When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside;
- When 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; When pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment;
- While in a building or participating in an activity that requires security surveillance, screening, or identification, for example, banks;
- When consuming food or drink; or
- When receiving a service where a face covering would impair the service.
This order comes 10 days after Texas A&M’s on-campus face masks requirement became effective. To read more about the College Station emergency order click here. To read about A&M’s face mask guidelines click here.