The city of Terrell is exploring the possibility of issuing recommendations – or potentially a directive – for facemasks to be worn by citizens when they are out in public.

City Manager Mike Sims told the council Tuesday evening that a number of Texas cities have adopted rules regarding facemasks. The city of Terrell, he said, was researching the matter this week, but he was not ready to make a recommendation Tuesday. He said he might have language worked up for the council to consider at its next meeting.

Mayor Rick Carmona said facial coverings do make a difference in protecting others from COVID-19 carriers.

“The idea is to do all we can to protect our citizens,” Carmona said, later adding:  “I would rather look back and say we did too much than look back and say we didn’t do enough.”

Council members Mayrani Velasquez, Tim Royse and Grady Simpson seemed open to the idea as long as the order is executed properly.

Velasquez said she favors the use of facemasks and wears one herself when out in public. She prefers that people would be persuaded to use them through an information campaign rather than through stiff fines for noncompliance.

Sims said people should not be complacent because only three confirmed virus cases were reported in Terrell as of Tuesday evening. That number is expected to grow, he said. People should operate under the assumption that they will encounter people who are COVID-19 positive but are showing no symptoms, noted Sims.

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