City extends mask mandate to Sept. 30

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Masks will have to be worn within public places in the city limits until Sept. 30, per the City of Fredericksburg.

“The number of local active cases and local hospitalization rate seem to be declining,” Mayor Gary Neffendorf said. “With the reopening of schools and the Labor Day holiday approaching, we want to remain vigilant throughout these events.”

As of Tuesday, Gillespie County has recorded 175 positive cases and 6 fatalities. Local officials did not post numbers on Tuesday because of a large discrepancy between local and state numbers. A city officials said they were working to reconcile the counts as quickly as possible.

The supplemental order, which was issued June 29, states that all commercial businessess in the city limits that provide goods and services directly to the public must develop and implement a health and safety policy.

This policy must require all employees and visitors to wear face coverings when in close contact or proximity to others and where six feet of separation isn’t possible.

A sample Health and Safety Policy is attached as Exhibit A in the order at www.fbgtx.org.

Anyone age 10 or older should wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in public places where keeping six feet away from others is not possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face coverings for anyone two years of age or older.

Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas or a handkerchief. City residents and visitors should continue to maintain social distancing.

Certain situations do not require face coverings, including:

• Exercising or engaging in physical activity outside;

• Driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household;

• Times where doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk;

• Pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment;

• Being in a building or performing activity that requires security surveillance or screening (i.e., in banks); and

• Consuming a food or drink.

Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent hand washing and self-isolation when sick.

Unless extended, modified or terminated by the city council, or if suspended by the county judge or governor of Texas, the regulations in this order will remain in effect until Sept. 30.

 

Testing, cases

                Dr. Jim Partin, chief medical officer for Hill Country Memorial Hospital, said its internal positive testing rate was 5.1%. Yet he and city officials received results from the Sunday, Aug. 2 military testing and that had an 11% positive rate, or 22 positives out of the 196 tested.

                “I hope there were a significant number of false positives,” Partin said.

                The doctor also mentioned that this week, the numbers on the Texas Department of State Health Services website had lagged behind local counts.

                Partin said he did not believe any of the county’s six fatalities were linked to nursing home stays or patients. He said the age range has been from the high-40s to the low 80s.