HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that he is considering a “Board of Shame,” to identify local businesses, bars and clubs that are violating coronavirus health guidelines and the Harris County mask order.
Houston police and fire departments will monitor businesses to determine if they are complying with occupancy limits and requiring employees and customers to wear masks, he said.
Some business owners may temporarily lose their TABC license, which has already happened to several businesses in Texas including one in Houston and another in Seabrook. However, the city will not put anyone in jail for failing to comply with the guidelines, Turner said.
At present, restaurants are allowed to operate at 75% capacity while bars and clubs must operate at 50% capacity, per the Texas executive orders for reopening.
Turner said customers are interested in businesses that are working in their best interests.
“The confidence of the customer will determine the viability of the business,” he said. “We want people to be good partners and good citizens. If you are not, you need to go on the board of shame.”
Houston, and the state in general, is experiencing a sharp rise in new COVID-19 cases. Houston health officials announced 987 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing to the city’s total to 16,253 cases.