BREAKING: New Braunfels mayor issues executive order for face coverings

Businesses in New Braunfels must now require employees and visitors to wear a mask on their property under most circumstances. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
Businesses in New Braunfels must now require employees and visitors to wear a mask on their property under most circumstances. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)

Businesses in New Braunfels must now require employees and visitors to wear a mask on their property under most circumstances. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)

New Braunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman issued an executive order June 23 that requires face coverings to be used at businesses within the city, effective immediately.

The order expires Aug. 1, unless it is extended, modified or terminated by the mayor or City Council. An executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott or the Comal County County judge could also have the same effect.

“Making this decision on behalf of our community is not something that I take lightly. But this order comes after a lot of consultation with local health authorities, business leaders, city staff, and fellow Council members," Brockman said. "Each person I have spoken with has shown great care and concern, not just for their own families, but for the well-being of the residents of this community.”

The positivity rate for COVID-19 testing in Comal County for the past seven days was 20.7%, and more than 300 cases have been reported between June 1 and June 23.

Under the order, businesses within New Braunfels that provide goods or services directly to the public must develop and implement a Health and Safety Policy requiring, at the minimum, that all employees and visitors to the business' premises or facilities wear face coverings.

All people 10 years or older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public place where it is difficult to keep 6 feet away from other people, or while working in areas that involve close proximity (less than 6 feet) with other people or coworkers.

According to the order, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face coverings for people 2 years or older.

The Health and Safety Policy may also include additional measures designed to control and reduce the transmission of COVID-19, such as temperature checks or health screenings.

The policy must also be displayed at the business in a conspicuous location that is easily viewable by both employees and visitors.

Health and Safety Policy and signage samples are available and may be used by businesses.

Failure to develop a policy by June 28 may result in the business being fined up to $1,000 for each day the violation occurs.

Enforcement of the order begins June 29.

Individuals are not subject to civil or criminal penalties for failure to wear a face covering due to the governor's Executive Order GA-26.

Under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, authority for enforcement has been granted to any New Braunfels police officer, New Braunfels fire marshal, city park ranger, city health and building inspector, city code enforcement officer, and city animal control officer.

City employees are also required to wear face coverings under the same circumstances as the public.

In addition to masks, valid face coverings include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas or a handkerchief.

The city does not recommend medical masks or N-95 respirators because they may be needed for health care providers and first responders.

According to Brockman's order, face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • when exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside

  • when engaging in river activities such as tubing, swimming, kayaking, etc.

  • while driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver

  • when doing so poses 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, such as a bank

  • when consuming food or drinks

Social distancing, hand washing, not using a disposable mask more than three times, washing reusable cloth masks regularly and all other CDC guidelines are still recommended.

The city of New Braunfels will continue daily temperature checks for its employees before entering restricted areas of city owned or leased facilities, and the same protocol will be applied to citizens, although lobby areas are not subject to these rules.

Individuals with a temperature exceeding 100 degree will not be allowed to enter the restricted areas of municipal buildings.

According to the order, the decision to continue or revoke this order will take into consideration recommendations from the local public health official among other factors related to improved local conditions.

“The health and safety of our residents is the top priority, and this order is the right thing to do to take care of our community,” Brockman said.

By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.


The shop specializes in unique popsicles. (Courtesy La Autentica Michoacana NB)
La Autentica Michoacana NB is now serving up ice cream in New Braunfels

The ice cream shop offers handmade treats made with fresh fruit.

Lake Dunlap dropped an estimated 14 feet after a spill gate failed in May of 2019. (Courtesy Larry Johnson)
Contractor given the green light to begin work on Lake Dunlap dam two years after spill gate failure

Two years after a spill gate failure nearly emptied Lake Dunlap, contractors are now at work building a new dam with the goal of reviving the lake.

Goodfolks plans to open in late July to early August. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
New restaurant coming to Georgetown; new Hutto community to have nearly 1K lots and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from Central Texas.

COVID-19 precautions such as a masking requirement remain in place at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
'Signs of hope' on the horizon at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after year-plus dip in air travel

Rising passenger counts, new airline operations and an increase in vaccinations could all support the airport's recovery in 2021.

Hannah Sullivan, a student at Galen College of Nursing, holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Comal County to end mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics as doses become widely available

The county began conducting mass vaccination clinics in January and have administered more than 33,000 first and second doses. Those interested in receiving a vaccine will now be able to schedule an appointment through the county or their healthcare provider.

CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

An additional 128 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Comal County since May 10. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
3 Comal County COVID-19 deaths reported this week as positivity rate rises to 5%

An additional 128 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Comal County since May 10.