(The lead paragraph of this article was edited for clarity.)
Fredericksburg residents and visitors will now have to wear masks or face coverings in public places, effective immediately. (While the ordinance goes into effect immediately, businesses have until Monday, July 6 to develop and implement a Health and Safety Plan.)
Mayor Gary Neffendorf signed a supplemental order on Monday, June 29, requiring the wearing of masks for people ages 10 or older in commercial establishments where it is difficult to keep six feet away from others, or working in areas that involve close proximity with others.
Examples of face coverings are homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas or a handkerchief. People should not obtain or wear medical masks or N-95 respirators, as they are needed for healthcare providers and first responders.
Face coverings don’t need to be worn in the following circumstances:
• When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside, including river activities such as tubing, swimming, kayaking, etc.;
• While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
• When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk;
• While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment;
• While in a building or activity that requires surveillance or screening, like banks; and
• When consuming food or drinks.
The order states that face coverings are secondary strategy for mitigation efforts. They are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent handwashing and self-isolation when sick.
Health and Safety Policy
In addition, all businesses operating in the city limits must develop and implement a Health and Safety Policy, requiring all employees and visitors on the premises to wear face coverings.
The policy must be posted in a location visible to all employees and visitors.
This policy may also include implementing other mitigation measures, such as health screenings or temperature checks. It may also allow exceptions to face coverings if:
• wearing a face covering poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk;
• a person is consuming food or drink; and
• for people performing music, theater or other similar activities for a live audience.
Facilities owned or leased by the State of Texas or by a political subdivision of the state and facilities subject to regulation by the Texas Racing Commission are not considered commercial entities.
Failure to develop a policy within seven days of the effective date is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 for each day the violation occurs, and may be subject to regulatory enforcement.
If a business does not create a Health and Safety Policy within seven days of the order, as recommended by the city, the business owner would be fined up to $1,000 for each day a policy is not created.
A person not wearing a mask, cannot be punished by law enforcement unless he or she walks into a business without a mask and refuses to leave if told to do so.
City of Fredericksburg facilities will continue daily temperature checks for the city’s employees before entering restricted areas.
Residents are asked to conduct essential city business online, by phone, via regular mail or by other means to avoid using facilities, unless necessary.
While utility customers will not be able to access City Hall to pay their bill, customers can pay online or utilize the drop box outside City Hall or the drop box in the Broadway Bank drive through location.
Customers needing to speak with city departments should contact City Hall at 830-997-7521 to make an appointment or attempt to solve any issues over the phone or by email.
The City of Fredericksburg will continue to provide city services, including electric, water, wastewater and sanitation services to the community.
Temperature checks will be required of all citizens before entering restricted areas.
Any individual with a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to enter.
All social distancing measures must be implemented at the entrances.
Any City of Fredericksburg Police Department officer or Health Services inspector is authorized to enforce the provisions of this emergency order in accordance with the authority granted under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.
This order will be posted on the city’s website and social media.