Nacogdoches city and county leaders on Tuesday announced a proclamation “asking residents over the age of 10 to voluntarily wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when within 6 feet of others not of their households.”

In the advisory, businesses are being asked to adopt face mask policies that apply to employees and customers, with the exception of eating and drinking within food establishments.

The measure is similar to one issued by the City of Lufkin — but neither is compulsory, as Gov. Greg Abbott this month issued an order that no jurisdiction can impose a penalty for not wearing masks.

“Although some may view it as an inconvenience or invasion, we ask that everyone come together as a community to keep our citizens safe and our businesses open,” Nacogdoches Mayor Shelley Brophy said.

Businesses are being asked to post signs on wearing masks and social distancing. Signs for businesses in English and Spanish are available for pick-up at the Nacogdoches County Chamber offices, 2516 North St., or can be downloaded from the city website at ci.nacogdoches.tx.us/1356/Resources-for-Business.

Effective on July 7, SFA is requiring staff, students and visitors to don masks in all indoor, non-private areas, except where otherwise noted, and in outdoor spaces where six feet of distance can’t be reliably maintained. According to information posted on SFA’s website, “If the individual refuses to wear a face covering, a supervisor may direct the individual to leave the public space.”

The rule is applicable to “all non-private offices, academic areas and residential spaces such as lobbies, hallways, restrooms, classrooms, teaching laboratories, common spaces in residence halls, conference rooms and break rooms,” according to the university. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

With local opinions coming from all sides, Brophy said all options had been considered regarding getting local residents to follow safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, but that ultimately a mandate couldn’t be enforced. For those uncomfortable in public settings or at high risk, most local businesses are now offering a pickup or curbside option, she said.

The proclamation goes into effect at noon today and is set to expire July 8. Questions regarding the proclamation can be directed to the local call center at 936-559-2510 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday or emailed to info@nactx.us. The office will be closed this Friday due to the holiday.

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