Copperas Cove to continue face covering requirement inside city facilities
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Monday, the City of Copperas Cove announced its plans in light of last week’s announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott to rescind the statewide requirement to wear face coverings starting Wednesday, March 10.
“Following discussions at the local and County level, the City of Copperas Cove will continue to require the wearing of face coverings for individuals 10+ years of age while inside city facilities, when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained,” stated Kevin Keller, the city’s Director of Public Relations, in an email to the Leader-Press on Monday morning.
“Any individual presenting with a medical condition which prohibits the wearing of a face covering will be exempt from this requirement. Proper hygiene and regular cleansing of the hands are also encouraged prior to entering any facilities. Public meetings will continue to be broadcast both telephonically and via Zoom, and seating will be limited.
“As a City, we have a responsibility to take the best possible measures to ensure the safety of our employees and visiting individuals. The previously implemented protocols have been successful thus far and will be continued until further notice to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
However, the requirement for mayoral approval for certain outdoor gatherings/events is not longer in effect.
“We do encourage all individuals to use care and concern when gathering in large groups for the safety of everyone present.”
Businesses like H-E-B are also continuing the face covering requirement. Face coverings won’t be required in stores, but “strongly encouraged.”
County judges will still have the option to restrict business capacity in the future, should COVID-19 hospitalizations exceed 15 percent in the local Trauma Service Area for seven consecutive days, but judges cannot restrict business capacity to lower than 50 percent.
Statewide as of March 7, there were a total of 2,320,857 confirmed cases, which includes an estimated 137,108 active cases, decreased from last week. Hospitalizations statewide for COVID-19 numbered 4,721, at their lowest point since Oct. 20. In our local Trauma Service Area L, there were 67 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Sunday, making up 6.22% of local hospitalizations.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas as of March 7
Bell County 563 active cases (20,704 total)
Burnet County 209 active cases (3,830 total)
Coryell County 365 active cases (4,947 total)
Copperas Cove 131 active cases (2,661 total)
Lampasas County 10 active cases (2,054 total)
McLennan County 167 active cases (25,335 total)
Williamson County 0 active cases (35,865 total)
Numbers from Texas DSHS, Coryell County, Lampasas County; Bell, McLennan, and Williamson County Public Health Districts