At the Tuesday, July 7, regular Poteet City Council meeting, the members voted unanimously to extend Mayor Willie Leal Jr.’s State of Disaster declaration that includes the requirement of individuals to wear protective face covering.
The extension will run through Aug. 6 and the motion was made by Councilmember Jesse Leal and seconded by Councilmember Richard Castillon. The initial declaration was made on June 30 and was set for only seven days.
“The Mayor has … determined that extraordinary immediate measures must be taken to respond quickly to prevent and slow down the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Leal said during the meeting.
The extension mirrors that of the executive order Texas Governor Greg Abbott levied on Thursday, July 2.
In Abbott’s order and in Mayor Leal’s, individuals not wearing a face mask will receive a warning for the first time they are found to not be wearing a mask and any time after that will result in a fine not exceeding $250.
“[T]he city policy must require, at minimum, all employees or visitors to the commercial entity, into the business premises or facilities, wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in an area or performing an activity which will involve close contact or proximity to coworkers, or the public, where six feet of separation is not feasible,” Mayor leal continued.
Just as Gov. Abbott’s order provided exemptions, so did Mayor Leal’s. The mandate excludes children under six years of age, anyone with a medical condition or disability that would impair breathing, anyone doing a physical activity or exercise and anyone consuming food while seated at a restaurant, to name a few.
The mandate can be extended or rescinded at the council’s discretion.