Galveston city residents will be under a mask order effective midnight, officials announce

(AP Photo/Matt York) (Matt York, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough announced a mask order for residents Monday that will go into effect just after midnight.

The announcement came as a similar order went into effect in Harris County Monday and Fort Bend County is asking for public input on whether one should be issued.

Effective midnight, residents in the city of Galveston will be required to wear face coverings in all Galveston businesses that serve the public, officials announced Monday evening.

“Mayor Jim Yarbrough signed on Monday an executive order requiring commercial entities that provide goods or services directly to the public to establish a health and safety policy requiring face coverings for customers aged ten or older. The face coverings must cover the customer’s nose and mouth,” officials wrote.

City officials say the order came in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the city and county. The order will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on June 30 and may be extended if Galveston City Council votes to extend the order at a meeting Thursday.

“This is a matter of public safety,” Mayor Jim Yarbrough said in a press release. “Medical professionals largely agree that wearing a face-covering reduces the transmission of this virus and, aside from staying home, is one of the most effective steps we can take to protect others. We’re at a critical time with a rising number of cases and I believe this science-backed, common-sense approach is good public policy.” 

The order requires:

  • Commercial entities in Galveston that provide goods or services directly to the public to develop and implement a health and safety policy requiring employees and visitors to wear face coverings when in the business and in close contact with others
  • The order also limits mass gatherings within the city and codifies the city’s practice of limiting visitors in City Hall and requiring temperature screenings for entry. 
  • Per Gov. Abbott’s executive order, no individual, business, entity, or organization shall schedule, host, or conduct any outdoor gathering reasonably anticipated to attract more than 100 participants unless approved by the mayor with the consultation of the local health authority

Read the full order below:

About the Author:

Tulsi started as an enterprise reporter at KPRC2 in 2019. She specializes in in-depth storytelling, going beyond the breaking headlines to provide context and understanding. She previously worked at the Houston Chronicle and was a member of the Pulitzer Prize finalist team for their coverage of Hurricane Harvey.