Local businesses prepare to enforce mask mandate

As the Texas mask mandate expires, many political leaders are trying to remain calm as they hope to avoid another surge in numbers.
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 12:32 AM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - As the Texas mask mandate expires, many political leaders are trying to remain calm as they hope to avoid another surge in numbers.

Now the city, county, and businesses are preparing to enforce their own safety protocols.

“Now, as we move forward into the next phase of the pandemic, we are pleading with the public to wait a little be longer and to not lower their guard because we have been here before,” said Doctor Victor Trevino.

“It’s a little too early to declare victory to not be using the masks,” said Chief Guillermo Heard. “Our health authority still reminds us, it’s important piece for everybody, especially the ones that have not been... that have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated.”

“As far as tomorrow goes, the city policy will continue,” said Mayor Pete Saenz. “Masks as usual, at least for a while...”

Mayor Saenz and others reinforcing the recent CDC report on the importance of previous health recommendations, such as universal masking and avoiding nonessential indoor spaces to further prevent spikes and continue progress in the fight to contain the virus.

Businesses have already taken a stance here in Texas, many saying they will continue their policies of requiring a mask for employees and customers.

It’s a sentiment that echoes across the state.

”The unfortunate part about this decision is that it puts those businesses that want to do the right thing on the frontlines of confrontations between people who don’t want to abide by the rules that they’ve established in their own facilities,” said Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio mayor.

Others are already demanding the implementation of change.

Confrontations like these occurring across the state over the past few days, with more expected.

Here in Laredo, more than 800 deaths having been reported. Health authorities are trying to focus on the positive emphasizing that more than 9,000 vaccines will go to 21 Laredo vaccine approved providers on the same the restrictions are lifted.”

“These vaccines are a combination of Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, these vaccines are also a combination of state and federal allocations,” said Richard Chamberlain.

Only a fraction of the nation’s population has been vaccinated, so the risks appear to remain high and experts say we must remain vigilant.

“Additionally, we’re questioning help from our stakeholders to enforce health guidelines on their private properties so we can move past this last period of insanity, which was 115 days. This involved are over 400 state and medical workers and represented people dying most painful deaths.”

The National Restaurant Association says businesses can refuse service, even under the Americans with Disabilities Act, they just have to provide an alternative, like curbside delivery.

State officials say nearly 15% of tests are coming back positive in the lone star state.

Five percent or under suggests the virus is under control.

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