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

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Texas Renaissance Festival to offer free COVID-19 rapid testing throughout season

Additionally, a free drive-thru testing site will be set up in Todd Mission on Sept. 19.

Both locations specialize in men's haircuts, shaves and waxing, and they also offer complimentary alcoholic drinks. (Courtesy Tune Up: The Manly Salon)
New owners take over Tune Up: The Manly Salon locations in Champions, Northpointe

Rachael and Michael Worthen and Jackie and Scott Qaulley took ownership of two Tune Up: The Manly Salon franchise locations in the North Houston area effective Aug. 10.

Drive-thru services include picking up and returning library materials, library card replacements, and children's craft kits available for pickup. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lone Star College–Tomball Community Library now offering drive-thru services

Drive-thru services will operate by appointment only Mon.-Thu. from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Fri. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Montgomery County will now include antigen cases in its total case counts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County to begin including antigen positive cases in COVID-19 daily reports

Antigen cases will now be included in total case counts. However, a breakdown of antigen versus PCR cases will be available.

Tomball Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2427 is no longer hosting events after closing its facility's doors in June earlier this summer in response to state-mandated regulations due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy VFW Post 2427)
After 80 years in Tomball, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2427 hits hard times

According to Post 2427 Quartermaster Fred Kelly, the organization finds itself in a tight spot following a slew of event cancellations.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

The Houston Food Bank is looking for more volunteers as it handles increased food distribution during COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Food Bank)
Houston Food Bank: COVID-19 pandemic amplifies already-high food insecurity rates across region

Before COVID-19, the Houston Food Bank distributed about 400,000 pounds of food daily. That number has since increased to about 1 million pounds a day.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

Vehicles drive alongside the Tomball Tollway in Harris County. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Newly formed corporation could divert Harris County toll road revenue to non-mobility projects

A new limited government corporation formed by Harris County Sept. 15 could result in surplus revenue from the Harris County Toll Road Authority going to other county needs outside of the realm of transportation and mobility.

(Courtesy Curry Masala)
Curry Masala opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from Greater Houston.