Masks sign

A local business on the Square displays a sign about face masks. 

Denton is under a mask mandate and is on track to remain so at least through the end of the year.

The City Council, in a 4-2 vote Tuesday evening, approved an extension to existing masking rules through Dec. 31, though it is able to reverse course if fortunes improve before then.

Mayor Gerard Hudspeth and council member Jesse Davis voted against the measure.

Council members Brian Beck, Alison Maguire, Deb Armintor and Paul Meltzer voted in favor.

Council Vicki Byrd was not in attendance Tuesday.

The order requires, at a minimum, all indoor public facilities to require masking for everybody over 2 years old regardless of vaccination status. Much like its predecessors, the order approved Tuesday has no real enforcement aspect.

The majority of council members have routinely called for the city to abide by guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which dictate people in nearly every county in the country should wear masks when indoors in public.

Denton County falls into that category.

Only one local resident addressed the council regarding the item Tuesday.

Eva Greco argued the city should abandon its series of mask mandates and instead use its time to pursue other worthwhile endeavors, such as increased protections for renters.

Greco, who was wearing a face covering, said she went to an emergency room in April with pneumonia and COVID-19 but she was turned away because there weren’t any available beds.

“I wear a mask out of respect for my fellow citizens because my mask doesn’t protect me, it protects you,” she said.

She said that same respect isn’t returned from most people in public around town.

She made that point not because she doesn’t believe in the efficacy of masks in reducing the spread of COVID-19, but instead because she doesn’t see a strong purpose in continuing the mandate.

“It doesn’t make sense that we continue,” Greco said.

For instance, she said most people around town aren’t wearing masks and the city is not enforcing its own order. Included in the city’s mask mandate is the requirement that schools require masking when indoors.

Denton ISD, which covers a larger area than the city of Denton, has not followed that provision.

“Not making yourselves look too good, guys,” Greco told the City Council.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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