Mask

An employee wearing a mask organizes a store at Golden Triangle Mall on Friday.

Denton City Council members on Tuesday are scheduled to consider extending the declaration of disaster that requires businesses to mandate that visitors wear face coverings.

In August, officials voted 4-3 to extend the same declaration until Sept. 30.

“The current Order of Council requires all commercial and non-profit entities providing goods or services directly to the public to have a health and safety policy requiring face coverings,” according to a city news release.

Gov. Greg Abbott in July issued an executive order requiring residents to wear face coverings “in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions,” a news release shows. “The governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people … and [they] must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.”

The city’s first declaration of disaster was issued in March.

Abbott’s executive order provides penalties for violations: “Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time violator of this face-covering requirement, a person’s second violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Each subsequent violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 per violation.”

However, the governor’s order prohibits law enforcement officers from detaining, arresting or jailing violators “for related non-violent, non-felony offenses that are predicated on a violation of this executive order.”

Consideration to extend the declaration comes as Abbott has issued a separate order allowing certain businesses to increase capacity from 50% to 75% as soon as Monday.

The City Council work session is scheduled for 2 p.m., during which they’ll discuss the disaster declaration, and the regular meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Both virtual meetings can be accessed at cityofdenton.com.

 

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