County officials skip discussion on face coverings, refusing to require wearing them in public.
By SARA VANDEN BERGE
Erath County residents will not be required to wear face coverings while out in public or in places of business after commissioners skipped the topic during Monday’s meeting.
Judge Alfonso Campos told BTS News before the meeting on Monday that he didn’t expect the topic to come up.
“I would be surprised if it is voted on,” Campos said.
And he was right.
The decision on whether to wear masks while out in public will remain up to residents who largely seem split on what to do.
Following Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Dee Stephens said it is not the county’s job to force people to wear face coverings in public.
“If you are worried about getting COVID, you should wear a mask,” Stephens said. “Business owners do have a right to require customers to wear them, but the county’s position is that we should not dictate it.”
A wide variety of comments on Beneath the Surface News’ Facebook page shows that readers feel strongly on both sides.
Stephenville’s health authority, Dr. Kelly Doggett, has been outspoken about his belief that residents should be required to wear face coverings while out in public.
He wrote an open letter last week to Mayor Doug Svien and Judge Campos urging a mandate while expressing concern for the city’s Fourth of July celebration, which has now been canceled.
More positive tests of COVID-19 were reported over the weekend, with 15 on Saturday and another five on Monday morning.