Businesses respond to new mask orders in Sugar Land, Fort Bend County

Businesses respond to Sugar Land, Fort Bend County sign new mask orders
Businesses respond to Sugar Land, Fort Bend County sign new mask orders

SUGAR LAND – Some business owners are asking for clarity about their responsibilities, as Sugar Land and Fort Bend County officials enact similar orders requiring facial protections in public.

Both orders levy potential fines against business owners, and not customers, a $500 maximum for Fort Bend County, a $1000 maximum fine in Sugar Land.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out, what we’re needing to do,” said co-owner of F45 Training Greatwood Derek Blacksher. He runs a high-intensity interval training gym.

Blacksher re-opened weeks ago with strict new rules that incorporate distancing and disinfection. However, he is concerned about his members wearing masks during workouts, which can cut their oxygen levels while they burn 800 calories in a single 45-minute session.

“I think that could impact their safety,” Blacksher said.

Neither the Fort Bend County nor the Sugar Land orders specifically mention gyms. KPRC 2 asked for more insight from Mayor Joe Zimmerman, who said he crafted the order with the goal of public health and not punishment in mind.

“A high-intensity workout, if you can maintain six feet between everybody then you’re not going to have to wear a mask,” Zimmerman said.

A representative with the County Judge KP George echoed the sentiment.