Clute and Lake Jackson are mandating businesses require employees and patrons to wear masks following a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases relative to population, officials said.
This is similar to mask orders mandated in Harris County, Fort Bend County and Pearland.
All commercial establishments that provide goods or services within city limits must mandate masks starting 12:01 a.m. Monday through 11:59 p.m. July 12, Clute Mayor Calvin Shiflet said. It applies to people 10 and older.
“We’ve mandated it through July the 12th for the time being,” Shiflet said. “If the numbers prove to have consistently flattened out, in a week, then we may lift the order, but if they don’t, then we’ll have to extend it.”
Businesses who do not comply with the order can receive up to a $1,000 fine, City Manager CJ Snipes said.
Lake Jackson Mayor Bob Sipple recommended protocols including hand washing, using hand sanitizer, staying home if possible, social distancing and wearing a face covering or mask.
"At this time these are the only known protocols that can help stop the spread of COVID-19," Sipple said in a news release.
“This has been a very difficult decision, but if that’s what it takes to slow the spread and keep the economy open, then we will do what is necessary,” Snipes said.
Clute's city leadership made the decision after consulting with local representatives and government officials, and "in order to meet the concerns of local business," according to a news release.
Voluntarily wearing a mask is responsible citizenship, not a betrayal of individual liberty, the release states.
For information regarding the order, visit clutetexas.gov/covid-19.
Lake Jackson's order does not require masks to be worn outside, when doing so poses a health, safety or security risk, while pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment, when exercising or when eating or drinking.