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Businesses react to county mask order

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Posted at 3:36 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 23:26:54-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Today was the start of a new, but temporary era in the Coastal Bend.

It was day one of the Nueces County order requiring some businesses and their customers to wear a mask inside.

"This is a mask order only if you cannot socially distance," Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney said in yesterday's commissioners' court meeting.

The mask order was implemented by Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales earlier this week, but some businesses are not sure what exactly the order means.

"I'm confused by the language in the mask order," said Janet's Cakery manager Joy Richards. "Part of it said there would be not civil or criminal charges against the customers, but the businesses could be fined $1,000."

The order itself calls for large businesses such as grocery stores to requires customers and employees to wear masks. It also includes smaller businesses, such as Roland and Johnny's Barber Shop. who cannot properly social distance.

"We put up our notice today and we are complying," said shop co-owner Roland Ribas.

The barber shop located on Leopard is a 50-year establishment in Corpus Christi. They do not necessarily agree with the mask order, but find that it is the best way to keep their business alive.

"We don't care for the masks, no one does," Ribas said. "But if that's what it's gonna take to keep us open, that is what we are going to do."

Richards believes that the order could help her business stay open as they begin to navigate another turbulent work period ahead.

"That's pretty little to ask of people," she said. "Rather than not having a job, not having a business or not having somewhere to go."

The mask order is in effect until July 13, but it can be extended.