Both Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid and City of Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate officially signed an order to require individuals to wear face coverings while working or entering a business within the county and the City of Kingsville limits on Monday, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the county.
Madrid said the county’s order will be in effect for 10 days, lasting until July 2, “unless extended, modified, or terminated.”
The City of Kingsville order will last until June 29, under the same terms.
Fugate signed his order in solidarity with Madrid, as both entities try to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The order is a safety measure “to protect all citizens in Kleberg County,” Madrid said at Monday’s County Commissioners meeting.
Madrid said he understands the frustrations of some residents in the county regarding the order, but he said it was needed as active positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the county.
According to the orders, all commercial entities in the county providing goods and services to the public “must develop and implement a health a safety policy” which must require, at minimum, that all employees and visitors wear face coverings when in an area or while performing an activity which requires close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public “where six feet of separation is not feasible.”
A notice of the new policy must be posted where employees and visitors can read it.
County officials provided a flyer of a type of notice local businesses can use in their establishments on Monday.
All individuals 10 years or older “shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public,” when social distancing is not possible, according to the orders.
Face coverings include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas or a handkerchief.
According to the orders, face coverings do not need to be worn:
•When exercising outside, engaging in physical activity outside, or inside a workout facility;
•While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
•When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk;
•While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment;
•While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening for example, banks; or
•When consuming food or drink, for example, when inside a restaurant, in a drive-thru or other beverage or dining facilities.
Both City and county officials are urging residents to continue social distancing, frequent hand washing, to avoid touching the nose or face and not reusing masks without washing.
Both Madrid and Fugate said that any extension of their orders will be decided at a later date.
Kleberg County active COVID-19 cases were in the double-digits as of Tuesday afternoon, with a total of 10 active in the county and 29 in the overall total.
Since June 18, county and city officials in the area have announced nine new cases.
The cases all consist of three men in their 20’s, a woman in her 20’s, a man in his 30’s, a man in his 40’s, two women in their 50’s, and a man in his 50’s.
The Texas Department of State Health Services are no longer reporting transmission type for new positive cases of COVID-19, officials said, but they are “reporting pervasive community spread of COVID-19 in our region.”
Free testing by the Texas Military Department will take place at the J.K. Northway Exposition Center on June 29.
Times and more information will be posted on City and County Facebook pages.
Over the last several days, multiple entities in the county have also announced cases in the area.
- The Ricardo Independent School District two positive COVID-19 cases on June 18.
On their Facebook page, Ricardo ISD officials said their summer feeding grant will no longer operate and grab-and-go meals will not be available for the rest of the summer.
- On June 17, Texas A&M University-Kingsville officials also announced five total construction subcontractors had also tested positive for COVID-19.
All individuals tested positive on June 18 and June 19.
“Effective immediately all contractors on the Texas A&M-Kingsville (campus) are required to wear face coverings,” TAMUK officials said in a notice to students and staff.
- TAMUK officials also announced four students at the university recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Two of the cases were last on campus on June 18, while the other two were last on campus on June 11.
It is not known if all the cases were related, however, officials confirmed all cases do not count to the Kleberg County count of COVID-19 cases.
Officials said university custodial staff has sanitized the affected areas.
- HEB officials in Kingsville announced one of their employees has tested positive for COVID-19 on June 20.
The employee was last in store on June 18.
- There was also a case announced by city officials regarding a staff member at the L.E. Ramey Golf Course. The facilities have been deep cleaned, officials said.
- Kleberg County Sheriff’s Deputy also tested positive for COVID-19.
Two additional deputies are in quarantine and individuals will not be allowed to return to work until a negative test is confirmed. There are eight deputies in quarantine, officials said.
- A positive COVID-19 test involving a City of Kingsville Firefighter. This individual lives out of the county and will not be included in our county COVID-19 count. This individual last had contact with co-workers on June 15 and was asymptomatic at the time.
- Potential COVID-19 exposure at the Justice of the Peace Pct. 3 office. It is shut down for deep cleaning and staff will be tested before returning to work, officials said.
- Positive COVID-19 cases at NAS-Kingsville. Individuals are in quarantine and close contacts have been notified, tested and are in quarantine as a precaution, as well.
- Potential exposure at the Kleberg County airport causing a closure for deep cleaning and testing of staff.
- Potential exposure to two Kingsville ISD employees, Interim Superintendent Kamara Adams said on Monday. The two individuals are in isolation, have been tested and are awaiting results as of press time.