McLENNAN COUNTY, Texas – If you’re walking around in McLennan County, wearing a face mask may be your new normal.
The City of Waco adopted the emergency order after a surge in coronavirus cases.
“Many people are acting like COVID-19 is over, and it’s not more over than it was back in March,” said Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver.
In Waco, the number of deaths have climbed to five.
“It’s the rapid rise that got me concerned,” Deaver said.
The city says face coverings do not have to be worn when exercising, operating outdoor equipment or driving alone. Churches are also not required to abide by the order.
However, businesses owners may be fined up to $1,000 if they do not require customers to wear masks.
“I hate the fact that we’re putting this on businesses that are the same businesses that had to endure shutdowns, so they’re already struggling,” Deaver added.
After Waco announced its order, Hewitt and Woodway decided to follow suit.
“When Waco did go out there and do that, it somehow required us to make the decisions a bit sooner,” said Hewitt City Manager Bo Thomas.
Hewitt and Woodway’s orders are similar to Waco’s to prevent confusion. The three cities are scheduled to meet with their City Councils to discuss expanding or putting a stop date to the order. Waco is scheduled to meet with its Council on Tuesday, June 23rd.