COVID-19 - Official Statement Regarding Statewide Mask Mandate
Stamford, Texas (July 2, 2020) – This afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott issued an order mandating the wearing of masks in public spaces statewide. This order also gives local mayors and county judges the ability to restrict gatherings of greater than 10 people. I have received several questions as to whether this applies to the community of Stamford and/or the ongoing Texas Cowboy Reunion.
This new statewide mandate has several exemptions, the most pressing of which is that the mandate does not apply to any county with less than 20 active cases. After consultation with our county judge, the judge and our county health authority both believe that we are eligible for this exemption. We have well below 20 active cases in our general county population. Any online reporting with a larger number includes either cases in detention facilities, recovered cases, or both. As a result, Jones County has submitted a request for exemption to the Texas Department of Emergency Management and we hope that the request will be approved.
Last week, local officials made the decision to proceed with the Texas Cowboy Reunion when the authority to restrict gatherings was set at 100 people. Even though the Governor has changed this threshold from 100 people to 10 people in today’s order, our local circumstances are the same as they were six days ago. Neither our county judge nor I believe there are new reasons to adjust our local restrictions simply because the Governor gave us the authority to do so.
Even if masks are not mandatory, we encourage our citizens to use masks in situations where social distancing is not possible, particularly in close public spaces. We ask you to stay home if you have COVID—19 symptoms or if you are an at-risk person. Above all, we ask you to remain careful, thoughtful, and kind to all other members of the community, no matter your personal views or risk threshold.
The City of Stamford remains deeply committed to the well-being of our citizens, both in terms of public health and the many ramifications of restrictions on each of our lives. We continuously examine our circumstances, our best practices, and the methods by which we can protect our community and move forward in a “new normal” way of living. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
James M. Decker, Mayor of Stamford