ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Thursday, Round Rock City Council could decide to repeal the citywide face-covering ordinance. The ordinance is set to expire on April 29.
Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said council could decide on one of four options.
- Repeal the ordinance immediately
- Allow the ordinance to continue for several days to give business owners more time to get ready and give employees time to get vaccinated
- Allow the ordinance to expire on its own
- Extend the ordinance
Several people having lunch in downtown Round Rock on Wednesday told KXAN they would continue to wear masks despite any rule change by the city council. Round Rock’s Nancy Ruiz believes it is still too early to get rid of the ordinance.
“We need to keep the masks,” she said. “It’s an easy thing to do and once someone gets really sick from COVID-19 they don’t get their life back, they die.”
Morgan said this conversation has been a tough one. He has heard from people on both sides.
“I will tell you there’s just as many emails I get that don’t want the mask mandate anymore and so it’s just one of those things that are going to be a 50-50 split and I don’t know that anyone and everyone will be happy,” he explained ahead of Thursday evening’s meeting.
The face-covering ordinance has been in place since June 29, 2020. The council first enacted the emergency ordinance under the city’s Home Rule Charter. When the council decided to renew the ordinance for 60 days in February, Morgan said the COVID-19 vaccine distribution was only beginning to get underway.
Morgan is hopeful for the future. He said COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are going down while vaccinations are going up. At present, Williamson County COVID-19 Dashboard data reports 20% are fully vaccinated and 37% have had their first vaccine dose. Morgan said they expect those numbers to continue rising.
“I do believe we all have the tools now that we didn’t have even just in January,” Morgan said.
- ^ PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Judge lets Austin keep mask mandate in legal battle with Texas AG Ken Paxton (www.kxan.com)
- ^ PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Masks recommended but not required starting Wednesday in parts of Williamson County (www.kxan.com)
- ^ Thursday evening at 6 p.m. (roundrock.legistar.com)