Following a spike of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in 11 days and attempting to hold a grip on business closures, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra announced a new executive order will mandate all people 10 years of age or older to wear a face covering when in public when it is not possible to keep 6 feet of distance.
The mandate is for all of Hays County and begins June 22.
“I feel it’s necessary to issue an order to slow the aggressive spread of this relentless virus," Becerra said. "This pandemic is far from over. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
The order will require residents and visitors to wear face coverings when in a public place where it is difficult to keep a 6 feet distance, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, or working in areas that involve close proximity with other co-workers.
Some exceptions to not wearing a face covering include, exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside; driving alone or with passengers of the same household; when doing so poses greater mental or physical safety or security risks; while pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment, while in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening; and when consuming food or drink.
According to Becerra a majority of constituents and business owners are in support of a mask order.
“The spirit of the order is to keep us moving in a positive trajectory for the health, for the well-being of the greater good and to not shut businesses down,” Becerra said.
The executive order will expire on July 20. More details about the order will be released by the county.
This story is developing and it will be updated when more information is available.