ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock City Council has unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that requires face coverings for individuals age 10 and older in public places when adequate social distancing is not possible to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The ordinance is in response to a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Round Rock over the past month.
“It’s important that we take immediate action to slow the dramatic increase of COVID-19 cases in our area,” Mayor Craig Morgan said in a news release. “While we are beginning to see more residents following health officials’ recommendations to wear masks, the goal of this emergency ordinance is to ensure everyone is doing their part to keep our businesses open and our community moving in the right direction.”
“As the number of COVID-19 cases in Williamson County continues to climb, it’s critical that businesses and residents adhere to guidelines put in place by local health authorities in order to slow the spread of the virus,” added Jeremy Barclay, chief executive officer of St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center. “Wearing a mask when you are with people who aren’t part of your household, practicing good hand hygiene and maintaining a safe social distance from others have proven effective in preventing illness. This is particularly important when inside enclosed spaces, such as businesses.”
The ordinance also requires businesses to display a notice of the requirement.
The ordinance goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, and continues through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 28, 2020.
A first time violation of the ordinance will result in a verbal or written warning. Ensuing violations are punishable by fines starting at $200 and escalating up to $1,000.
The requirement to wear face coverings does not apply to the following situations:
- When exercising or engaging in physical activity
- When in a building orparticipating in an activity that requires security surveillance or screening, such as banks
- While consuming food or drink
- When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
- Whenoutside with a group of only members of a single household
- When other mitigation strategy, such as plexiglass, provides adequate separation
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