Angleton officials are asking residents to “voluntarily” wear face masks and for business owners to strongly encourage their use via a signed proclamation.
Unlike orders signed this week by Lake Jackson, Clute, Manvel and Pearland, Mayor Jason Perez wanted to let his community decide for itself.
“I wanted to put the responsibility on our residents,” Perez said. “We are campaigning that wearing a mask does work. Don’t do this for yourself; do it for your neighbor.”
The mayor added municipal officials did not make this decision alone.
“I did it collectively with our hospitals, our business owners, our chamber of commerce and our nursing homes as one team,” Perez said. “This is not just the government saying this. Everyone had a voice in this.”
The order came into effect at midnight Friday and will expire at midnight Thursday, Perez said.
If the virus spreads more, Perez will look into possible mandates.
“Should the numbers increase, we will mandate a mask order,” Perez said. “We don’t want to do the next step but we will.”
The proclamation also discourages social gatherings of more than 100 people.
Freeport Mayor Brooks Bass also is prepared to sign a mandatory mask mandate similar to one to the ones signed earlier this week by neighboring mayors.
“We started working on one last week,” Bass said. “We’ve been checking with our medical professionals and feel this is the safest way to contain the spread.”
The order will also require businesses to place window signs reminding them of mask use, Bass said.
The proposed order plans to go in effect 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and end at 11:59 a.m. July 12.