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Bell County businesses must require face coverings, residents strongly encouraged to wear masks in public

Posted at 2:06 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 12:34:18-04

UPDATE: The Bell County Commissioners Court voted on June 29 to amend the face covering directive issued by Bell County Judge David Blackburn to change the mandatory wording to "strongly encouraged."

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Bell County officials announced the extension of the local disaster declaration and a public health emergency until Monday, July 13, 2020.

Officials also announced that all businesses and commercial entities in Bell County providing goods or services to the public must develop and implement a health and safety policy.

The policy must require employees, including volunteers, to wear a face-covering when in an area or performing which involves close contact with co-workers or the public where social distancing is not possible.

All visitors, including contractors and vendors, wear a face-covering while on the business’s premises.

Businesses must post their guidelines in an area that is visible to all visitors and employees.

The order goes into effect at 12:01 AM on June 29.

Businesses can also implement other measures such as temperature checks and health screenings.

Bell County officials are also strongly recommending that anyone over the age of 10 should wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth when in public spaces.

Face coverings do not need to be worn when exercising outside, while driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household, when doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk, while pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment, or while in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening.

Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent hand washing, and self-isolation when sick.

VI. Enforcement. Excepting Section III of the Directive and in accordance with the limitations contained in the executive orders of Governor Greg Abbott, that any peace officer or other person with lawful authority is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this Directive in accordance with the authority granted under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.

View the full order below: