Tomball businesses react to Harris County mask order

Tomball businesses share mixed reactions to requiring customers to wear masks while inside their businesses. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tomball businesses share mixed reactions to requiring customers to wear masks while inside their businesses. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tomball businesses share mixed reactions to requiring customers to wear masks while inside their businesses. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Businesses in Tomball have had mixed reactions after an executive order was signed in Harris County requiring all employees and patrons wear face masks in Harris County.



The order, which went into effect June 22 after being announced by County Judge Lina Hidalgo at a June 19 press conference, has drawn criticism and understanding from Tomball businesses.



John Cantu, founder of Icon Martial Arts Academy, said his staff and customers were all on board with the order.



“For me it makes common sense,” he said. “My students, parents and families here, they are all very on board with it.”



As a martial arts studio, Cantu said his students remain socially distant while performing in their classes.



“Once classes are dismissed we do virtual high fives, [the students] bow out and wash up,” he said.



Icon Martial arts has fans set up, sanitizer and signs to let its customers know they must follow the order.



“It is also a reminder that when we have a mask on we’re not going to touch our face as much,” he said.



Tomball restaurants have thought differently about the order and worried that this mask order will hurt business.



Fire Ant Brewing Co. Manager Sylvia Kissinger said the order has had an impact on the increased business she has seen as restaurant regulations had loosened.



“Now we are frustrated because this is hurting our business, and I’m sure everyone is feeling the same way,” she said.



Kissinger said the restaurant is complying and ensuring everything is safe with masks and sanitizer.



“Customers have been pretty good about it,” she said. “As soon as they sit down and have a glass of water they don’t have to [wear a mask] because they are drinking or eating.”



Although customers have been following the order, Kissinger said business has dropped over the past week.



“I understand we have to comply to slow this down, but it is hurting businesses,” she said.



Diego Copa, owner of Che Gaucho, said his staff have been wearing masks since the pandemic began, but he is concerned about how it affects his customers.



“We were taken aback by it having to be a mandate that everyone now entering the business would have to wear [a mask],” he said.



Copa said they have had to inform members of the public who were unaware that an order had been put in place.



“At the very beginning people weren’t aware ... there was some resistance of a third of the people that came in,” he said.



This has hurt some of Copa’s business as staffers have had to turn away people who would not wear a mask at all while in the restaurant.



“People were just upset at having to wear a mask, period, so they weren’t happy with us having to tell them that,” he said. “That meant for us possibly having to lose business from that customer.”



Copa said the possibility of receiving a $1,000 fine for having a customer in his restaurant without a mask meant that he has to enforce it.



“Unfortunately that is the case, and one of the customers we had to turn away is a customer that is there at least once a week,” he said. “Their loyalty means a lot to us, but [our] business [has] to comply with a greater mandate that would affect not just ourselves, but everyone else.”



MOST RECENT

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

The city of Houston reported the 14-day moving average for testing positivity was at 24.8% as of June 28, up from 15.4% on June 1. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,249 cases, three deaths confirmed July 2

The city of Houston reported the 14-day moving average for testing positivity was at 24.8% as of June 28, up from 15.4% on June 1.

Registration for the voucher program is now available by phone or online. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County COVID-19 testing voucher program registration now available online

Residents may be approved for free testing vouchers after completing an informational form through the county health or hospital district websites.

Broussard Park will host the Dynamo Dash Youth soccer program this fall. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dynamo Dash Youth soccer to be offered at Broussard Park this fall

Children born between 2002 and 2017 can register for the program.

Houston fireworks display
Here’s how to celebrate Fourth of July across the Greater Houston area

Several Houston-area cities are still planning fireworks shows with drive-in or virtual components this Fourth of July.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

The Kemah Boardwalk will be open Fourth of July weekend. (Courtesy Kemah Boardwalk)
3 Houston-area amusement properties will be open Fourth of July weekend

The Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Downtown Aquarium Houston are offering a joint weekend adventure pass for $29.99.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

Houston-based Christian Brothers Automotive operates more than 200 locations across the United States. (Courtesy Christian Brothers Automotive)
Q&A: Christian Brothers Automotive CEO talks commercial real estate, essential business operations amid pandemic

The Houston-based automotive company has franchise locations throughout Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and Arizona.

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August. (Courtesy Walmart)
Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

Families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8 with sessions led by celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James.