Canales aims for local facemask order

Judge Barbara Canales
Posted at 3:20 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 21:39:27-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Just a few days ago, city and county leaders said there was no need for a tightening of restrictions, but a continued rise in cases and two deaths in less than a week has changed that view.

As cities and counties across Texas scramble to craft orders similar to Bexar Co’s order requiring businesses to require masks, Judge Barbara Canales says Nueces County will follow suit.

“We’re not Bexar County, we’re not Harris County, we’re Nueces; so I want to make sure that any order makes sense for our community,” said Canales.

When asked about Bexar Co.’s order Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said “All that was needed was for local officials to actually read the plan that was issued by the State of Texas.” He continued “Bexar County is doing what every county is authorized to do, and that is to impose requirements on business operations.”

Hidalgo and Cameron counties soon passed similar orders Wednesday, as did the city of Austin. Brooks County did the same Thursday.

“Given that the governor has opened the door for us to be able to do this, we think businesses would appreciate this opportunity,” said Canales.

Canales says she worked with county commissioners today on crafting an order for Nueces county, adding that as soon as there is a draft, it will be sent to the county’s legislative delegation for input.

“What we’re doing right now isn’t working,” said Canales. “We’re seeing 30 cases a day, I fully expect that trend is going to continue.”

Canales said she’s received several messages from residents asking her to force businesses to require masks.

“Something as simple as a mask, is just a courtesy and a public health issue,” said Glynn Yarbrough.

Yarbrough works as a regional director for a nursing home company, and says he’s seen how quickly the virusspreads.

“I’m familiar with the different outbreaks in different areas, COVID-19 is not over with,” said Yarbrough.

Similar orders force businesses to require employees and customers wear masks indoors on commercial property.

“If wearing these masks helps us reduce the spread of the virus and help keep (businesses) open, I think that’s a great balancing act,” said Canales.

So far, there no order is written, but Canales says the county is working on getting one out as soon as possible.