COLLEYVILLE, Texas — The City of Colleyville made headlines in April when it moved to open some businesses despite stay-at-home orders levied by Gov. Greg Abbott to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, the city is back in the headlines for a similar reason: opposing Tarrant County's newly signed mask order.
The order was announced on the same day by Judge Glen Whitley. It will be in place from Friday at 6 p.m. until Aug. 3, and it requires anyone entering a business or outdoor event of more than 100 people to wear a mask.
If the order is not followed or enforced by businesses--those businesses or organizations could be fined anywhere between $500 and $1,000.
Whitley's order comes as Tarrant County's overall COVID-19 cases reach 10,363.
On Thursday it reported a record number of new cases in a single day with 517.
It also follows Gov. Abbott's verbal recommendations to wear a mask if Texans leave their homes. The state is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 and to keep businesses open, Abbott is pleading with the state to put a cloth covering on.
After Whitley announced the order, the City of Colleyville posted the following on its Facebook page:
"We appreciate and follow the leadership of Gov. Abbott. This week, the governor stated that decisions about the wearing of masks in public remain the choice of the individual. However, he further stated that it is up to the counties to determine if masks are to be required within businesses. Effective June 26 at 6 p.m., Tarrant County requires all businesses in the county mandate employees and visitors to wear a mask within the business setting. This order continues until Aug. 3 at 6 a.m. The City of Colleyville will not adopt any formal action enacting this measure nor provide enforcement. Questions regarding the regulation should be directed to Tarrant County.
Statement from City of Colleyville Regarding Stars & Guitars Event and Masks:
Masks are not required at the Stars & Guitars event. This event provides for 40 acres of parkland open space, 700 parking spaces, and multiple off-site viewing areas making social distancing feasible. In addition, we have provided radio simulcasting to allow viewers to remain in vehicles and enjoy the event. Masks will be available for those choosing to wear them. Multiple hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the area."
Mayor Richard Newton was called and texted for further comment, but he did not get back to WFAA before the writing of this article.
Even though the order is from the county, it is up to cities to levy fines against businesses and organizations.
Whitley told WFAA that any peace officer in the county could enforce the order, but he doesn't expect police in Colleyville to follow the city's statement.
"I'm very disappointed. We have collaborated with mayors, businesses, and school superintendents. All the citizens are subject to the jurisdiction of this order so it's disappointing that this happened. It's all about health," Whitley said.
"I've had businesses call me and thank us because they've been in an awkward position and the county has helped take that burden off," Whitley continued.
"So it's discouraging when a particular city council decides well, we just don't like it, so we're going to tell our citizens that they don't have to worry about it."
Colleyville's statement mentions its Stars and Guitars event, which is a well-liked fireworks show in town.
Masks will not be required.
More on WFAA:
- Parkland chief medical officer warns North Texas hospitals will run out of room without attitude shift
- North Texas family shaken after 18 relatives test positive for COVID-19 following family gathering
- COVID-19 updates: Gov. Abbott pauses new phases of reopening Texas due to increased cases, hospitalizations
- Gov. Abbott issues order that suspends elective surgeries in Harris, Bexar, Dallas, Travis counties
- Fort Worth city councilman shares he's tested positive for COVID-19