The city of Kerrville will allow visitors to wear masks into its facilities on a voluntary basis as of the first of May, the city announced Wednesday.
Written notification of the mandate was posted on the entrance doors to city buildings, and the city council was informed of the decision.
Out of respect for citizens who do not wish to wear a mask inside city buildings, the city of Kerrville has continued to offer numerous online options and curbside or drive-thru services to meet the needs of citizens in regards to city matters.
The Department of State Health Services daily COVID-19 Vaccine Data reported on Monday, that 80% (11,945) of Kerr County citizens 65 and older have been administered a vaccine (first dose plus fully vaccinated), and 46% (20,533) of Kerr County’s eligible population were administered a vaccine. The increased availability of the vaccine will continue to provide citizens with an opportunity to receive the vaccine locally and regionally throughout the month of April.
In light of these latest developments, the city of Kerrville will make the wearing of masks in all city facilities voluntary rather than mandatory effective May 1. A notification is posted at City Hall, and similar notifications are at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, the city’s Development Services building, and Municipal Court.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34 on March 2 and effective March 10, lifted the state-mandated mask requirement that was set forth July 2, 2020 in Executive Order GA-29. However, item No. 4 on page 2 of GA-34 reads: “Nothing in this executive order precludes businesses or other establishments from requiring employees or customers to follow additional hygiene measures, including the wearing of a face covering.”
Cities are allowed to take this measure “just like private companies can with their property,” Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze confirmed in an email shortly after the governor’s order was announced.
Per the Texas Municipal League, while Abbott’s order doesn’t allow local leaders to impose fines or jail time for people who don’t follow mask mandates, cities can ban maskless people
from entering city-owned property or escort people out if they remove face coverings once inside.
“A city is clearly a public institution, meaning it retains control over and may require pandemic mitigation measures on its property, in its facilities and by its employees,” an email sent to members from the Texas Municipal League reads.
In accordance with the caveats in GA-34 and in line with CDC guidelines regarding mask usage, Kerrville city management chose to maintain a mask mandate in its indoor facilities out of concern for the safety and health of both its employees and visitors. This decision was also made in order to allow area COVID-19 vaccination programs adequate time to make significant inroads in vaccinating all citizens who wished to receive a COVID vaccination.