Facial coverings will be required for visitors at city-operated facilities after a statewide mask mandate is lifted Wednesday.
“The city of Victoria recognizes that it has an obligation to protect the health of employees and members of the public; as such, the city will continue to require facial coverings at its facilities,” according to a news release from the city issued Friday.
Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order that repeals mask requirements and business occupancy limits. The repeal will go into effect Wednesday.
City officials are prohibited from establishing a local ordinance requiring masks in private businesses by Abbott’s order, but business owners still can establish policies requiring masks.
Abbott’s order also means city officials are no longer required to approve outdoor gatherings with more than 10 people.
Disposable masks will continue to be provided for visitors without one at the city’s 700 Main Center, Victoria Public Library, City Hall and the Victoria Municipal Court. Visitors who refuse to wear masks may be asked to leave.
Already, city officials have received many questions about Abbott’s order and its impact on local orders in place.
“Residents are reminded that the city of Victoria has not had a local face mask policy in place since July 3, when Abbott’s statewide facial covering mandate went into effect,” according to the release. “The new policy, which only applies to city-owned facilities, is a continuation of the rules that were in place at municipal buildings under the statewide order that expires Wednesday.”
City officials also encourage residents to continue following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19. Those include washing hands frequently, avoiding large gatherings and wearing masks when distancing is impossible.
The COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed by the Victoria County Public Health Department, and residents who are eligible to receive it are strongly encouraged to sign up for the health department’s new vaccine waiting list by calling 888-966-5640 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday or visiting victoriawaitlist.com.