Officials revisited a temporary policy requiring masks to be worn by staff, visitors and customers at New Braunfels city facilities and decided to rescind the policy.
The mask requirement became effective March 10 but also allowed 100% capacity in city facilities, up from 75% prior to that order.
During an April 12 meeting, City Council examined stats presented by City Manager Robert Camareno and agreed the policy could safely be reversed.
Prior to the March decision, Camareno said protocol so far in Texas had placed capacity restrictions and other COVID-19-related restrictions on areas with hospitalization rates at 15% or higher. At that time the hospitalization rate in New Braunfels was at about 6%.
By April 12, Camareno said the hospitalization rate was down to about 3%, and vaccine eligibility throughout the state of Texas has rapidly increased in the past several weeks.
Several physicians were present during a March 8 council meeting discussing the mask requirement, and for the most part they were unified in their assertions that masks should continue to be required until COVID-19 case rates and deaths improve. There were also attendees who spoke during public comment and were adamantly opposed to a mask requirement.
During the April meeting's public comment period, only one resident spoke who was vehemently opposed to the city-mandated mask requirement.