Dallas residents can now check a new city database to see if businesses need masks for people inside their home.
The Dallas business mask requirements database launched Wednesday, hours after Governor Greg Abbott put the business occupancy restrictions and state face-covering rule in place at midnight. The city is asking owners to complete an online survey to have their businesses added to an interactive map that lists each company’s name, address, zip code, and whether or not customers and employees need to cover their mouths and noses.
Abbott’s order prohibits any jurisdiction from imposing jail sentences and other penalties on Texans for not wearing face-covering in a company. In addition, companies can still require employees and customers to wear masks.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Medical Experts say the use of masks is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Several cities, including Dallas, have ruled that masks must still be worn in city buildings. In Dallas, these buildings include libraries, leisure centers, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, and the American Airlines Center.
Austin officials say they will issue a citywide masking mandate.
An order signed by Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson on Thursday, two days after Abbott announced it would lift all statewide COVID-19 mandates, states that people who do not have a mask, scarf, headscarf, handkerchief or have another cover over their nose and mouth may be prevented from entering a city building or establishment, or allowed to leave the house.
“It is important that we make informed decisions and remain vigilant if we are to achieve herd immunity,” Johnson said in a statement. “This database will benefit businesses and provide a centralized resource for the people of Dallas as we continue our battle against this deadly virus.”
As of Wednesday, 5 p.m., 14 companies were displayed in the city’s new online database. The Dallas Morning News website, dallasnews.com, also has a list of nearly 200 bars and restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth that say masks are still required.
All but one of the 14 companies in the city’s database said they continued to need masks. Only Barnsco, a concrete construction company with offices in northwest Dallas, Austin, Farmers Branch, Fort Worth and Hutto, said masks are not mandatory.
Dustin Sessums, the company’s operations manager, said workers and patrons can still wear masks if they so choose. The company will continue to take other precautions to slow down the transmission of COVID-19, such as: B. Maintaining partitions to separate customers and employees.
“Up to this point we have followed the nationwide mandate and plan to continue the game plan,” said Sessums. “Following the governor’s orders, we just saw no reason to continue to need masks.”
Clyde Greenhouse, owner of Kessler Baking Studio in South Dallas, said his company will continue to require employees to wear masks in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bakery, one of the 13 companies in the database that say they still need masks, won’t let customers in, but orders have been fulfilled by roadside delivery and collection.
Greenhouse plans to reopen to customers in June and will likely continue to require customers to wear masks, he said.
“We just think the wisest thing to do is keep our team and our customers safe until everyone is vaccinated,” said Greenhouse.
Regardless of the database, major retailers like Walmart and malls like NorthPark Center have announced they will keep masking requirements for workers and customers alike.
Nearly 4.7 million Texans – around 16% of the state’s 29 million residents – have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and around 2.5 million – nearly 9% – were fully vaccinated on Wednesday afternoon, according to the state. Nearly 390,000 have received at least one shot in Dallas County, and more than 218,000 county’s residents are fully vaccinated.
More than 44,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Texas.
The state announced on Wednesday that Texans 50 and over will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday.