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.