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San Saba is taking its own precautions in response to mask order

The city of San Saba and the San Saba County Sheriff's Office agreed that they won’t be enforcing Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide mask order, but the county's exempt because it has only about a half-dozen confirmed COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Alex Gibbs)
The city of San Saba and the San Saba County Sheriff's Office agreed that they won’t be enforcing Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide mask order, but the county's exempt because it has only about a half-dozen confirmed COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Alex Gibbs)(Alex Gibbs)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 9:27 PM CDT
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SAN SABA, Texas (KWTX) - The city of San Saba and the San Saba County Sheriff’s Office agreed that they won’t be enforcing Governor Abbott’s mask ordinance.

The order only applies to counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases.

In San Saba, they have only seven.

In a press release, Sheriff David Jenkins said the statewide ban, which includes possible fines for violators, doesn’t allow for jail time as a punishment for noncompliance, which makes it difficult to enforce.

“There’s specific language in the order that confines law enforcement from arresting people that don’t follow it,” said Chief Deputy Dwayne Shaw.

The press release also mentioned that if a business or restaurant requires a mask, there will be consequences for not complying.

“At the same time, we need to be cautious of elderly people and younger children. Their lives are most at risk with coronavirus.”

“If they refuse to leave, then law enforcement will be called. If they still refuse to leave after that, they could go to jail for criminal trespassing.”

Jennifer Blocker, the manager of Pepperbelly’s Restaurant, says most customers and businesses in the area are not concerned with COVID-19 because the case numbers are low.

She says that despite those facts, businesses are still looking out for their employees.

“We’re going to continue to wear face masks,” she said.

“It’s simply for the safety of our employees and for others. But we won’t require our customers to wear them. You can come in to eat if you want to.”

Many small business owners and hospitality workers like Blocker say they appreciate that county officials are considering a person’s rights when it comes to mask enforcement, but add that people within their community should continue to look out for one another.

“I think we should be able to say what we’re allowed to wear or not,” she said.

“At the same time, we need to be cautious of elderly people and younger children. Their lives are most at risk with Coronavirus.”

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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