WACO, Texas – Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver announced in a special COVID-19 meeting Wednesday that police officers will be patrolling certain businesses to potentially cite customers or employees not wearing masks.
Last month, Deaver made an executive order to make wearing masks mandatory in Waco businesses. Since then, his office is still getting complaints.
“We are continuing to get reports and complaints about people entering businesses, either entering without a mask or entering with a mask, and then taking the mask off,” Deaver said. “We are going to begin sending police officers into those stores and other areas where we’re getting these complaints to see what they find.”
The process does not end when an officer spots someone not wearing a mask, though.
“If they do find people not wearing masks, they’re going to talk with those folks and try to understand why they’re not wearing a mask,” Deaver said. “If they are inappropriately not wearing a mask, they will be subject to a written warning and then repeat offenders will be subject to citations.”
Deaver claims they have not had to issue any citations to any businesses yet.
With the temperatures climbing up towards the triple digits, keeping a mask on could raise even more health concerns than normal.
Waco-McLennan County Public Health District spokesperson Kelly Craine says even with the weather, the safety the mask brings is important.
“It’s important that you still wear the mask, even though the temperatures are going up. If you’re concerned about it, try and have several masks available. So if you feel like you’re getting too hot and sweaty, you can change your mask out,” Craine said. “Just be aware if you had health issues or concerns, when the temperatures started to rise, continue to think about that.”
Deaver also had a message for all those tempted to test the new rules.
“You’re not being brave by walking in without a mask,” Deaver said. “You are being a problem. A risk to your fellow shoppers and those around you.”
Deaver says he does not know yet what people not wearing masks in public will be charged with if given a citation.