Digital Exclusive: Here’s how local leaders feel about face covering requirements

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(KXAN)

PERMIAN BASIN (YourBasin) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Texas, some cities are implementing mask requirements. However, some local leaders aren’t keen on the idea.

Ector County Commissioner Eddy Shelton and Midland Mayor Patrick Payton are on the same boat of not mandating businesses to require employees and customers to wear face coverings.

After yesterday’s conference, Governor Greg Abbott has called the rise in Texas ‘unacceptable’ and Texans need to corral the virus.

Via Texas Department of State Health Service website

“Wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open,” says Abbott.

Yesterday’s MCH/ORMC conference, ORMC’s Chief Medical Officer Doctor Rohith Saravanan urged elected officials to mandate face coverings in businesses.

“Do it. Stand up. Stand up and make the statement. Say we are going to mandate it even if we can’t enforce it. Just mandate it because that is the right statement to make,” says Saravanan.

Via Texas Department of State Health Service website

Saravanan stating in the conference if cases in Ector County continue to rise at the current rate, they would be at capacity and working into their surge plan.

Right down the road in Marfa, the city enacted a mask policy for local businesses and plan to begin enforcing the ordinance this week.

Odessa Mayor David Turner resides on the fence over the matter.

“It’s something I want to discuss with the city council to get their feelings,” says Turner.

Turner also stated he would be in talks with Mayor Payton as they both have been working closely since the start of the pandemic.

“We are not in the process of looking to mandate the wearing of face masks,” says Payton. “Businesses still have the option to say whether or not they want to mandate masks in their place of business.

Commissioner Shelton says it hasn’t been been discussed in commissioners court.

“We are still hoping the public will heed the warnings,” says Shelton.

Both Shelton and Payton are leaving it up to citizens to continue to do what is right by wearing a mask, practice social distancing, and staying home if sick.

According to The Texas Tribune, Texas has reported almost 5,500 new cases of coronavirus, which is another record.

In Ector County, there are 396 confirmed cases and 236 probable.

Via Texas Department of State Health Service website

In Midland, there are 454 confirmed cases.

Via Texas Department of State Health Service website

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