Face Mask and Gathering Orders
Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Georgetown, all Texans are required to wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth when in public. In Georgetown, all businesses must adopt and post a health and safety policy outlining the establishment’s requirements. Some exceptions may apply. Additionally, all Special Events must adopt and post a health and safety policy. More details below.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order July 2 requiring all Texans to wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than 10 and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.
In September, Abbott released additional reopening requirements (Executive Order No. 30) tied to hospitalization rates. The statewide mask order and physical distance requirements are still in effect.
Outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people and special events are allowed in the city limits of Georgetown, provided attendees and organizers adhere to a local order issued by Mayor Dale Ross. The order is effective Oct. 29, 2020, and is in response to and in accordance with orders issued by Gov. Greg Abbott.
Health and Safety Policy (a policy must be posted at the special event):
Health and Safety Policy sample
Effective July 3, 2020, all people age 10 and older in Georgetown must wear face coverings while in public. Each business must adopt and publicly post a Health and Safety Policy. The City on Sept. 22 updated this order to reflect the Governor’s updated orders. The City’s mask order will be lifted when the statewide mask order is lifted.
Health and Safety Policy (a policy must be posted inside the business):
Health and Safety Policy sample
The State and local orders detail the following exemptions to the face mask requirements:
- Children younger than 10 years old
- People with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
- While seated at a restaurant or consuming food or drink
- While (a) exercising or engaging in physical activity outdoors and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household
- While the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
- While obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face-covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face. In such instances, face masks should be removed temporarily and only to the extent necessary.
- While the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water
- While voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election. However, wearing a face-covering is strongly encouraged
- While actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship. However, wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged
- While giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
Video message from Mayor Dale Ross:
Face coverings do not substitute for the need to maintain physical distancing. Face coverings, combined with physical distancing, decrease the risk of spread.
Face coverings should cover both the nose and mouth and attach securely behind the ears. Coverings should be washed after each use with hot water and detergent, and hands should be washed immediately after touching the cover.
While the City will prioritize education, both the State and local orders allow for fines to be assessed for violations.
Individuals who believe the orders are being violated by individuals, event organizers, or businesses in Georgetown can report it to the Georgetown Police Department’s non-emergency number: 512-930-3510.
Businesses or event organizers found in violation of the order, including failure to post a health and safety policy, may be given a citation and fined up to $1,000 per offense. Individuals found in violation will be given a verbal warning upon first offense and a fine of up to $250 per additional violation.
If a business or event has a customer or attendee who is unwilling to abide by the order, the business can ask the individual to leave. If they refuse to leave, the business or event organizers can call the police department’s non-emergency number and officers will respond. No one can be jailed for violating mask orders, but if an individual who refused to wear a mask refuses to leave, the individual may be arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.
FAQ about masks
As of the end of June, two-thirds of Texas cities were requiring masks. Below are links to similar orders from other Williamson County cities.
Mask orders in other Williamson County cities: