MIDLAND, Texas — The City of Midland will not be enacting a mask ordinance at this time.
Mayor Patrick Payton announced in a press conference Thursday the city would not be enacting any sort of mandate requiring the public to exhibit certain behaviors.
Payton said he hoped the public would take responsibility in regards to masks so that an ordinance would not be required. He also stated he talked to retailers about his hope masks would become a regular occurrence for shoppers.
This is all in a response to the large spike in cases in the county. At the time of the press conference, the county has seen 535 confirmed cases. With 119 recoveries and 14 deaths, 402 of those cases are considered active.
Midland officials said they would be working to return to earlier portions of the pandemic without shutting the economy down. At this time there is no intention to shut down a percentage of business capacities.
Part of this includes Midland Memorial Hospital stating that they would be scaling back visitor permissions. The hospital recently allowed patients to return to having at least one visitor whereas most were not allowed any visitors prior.
Ector County has also seen a large increase in COVID-19 cases. Mayor David Turner has mentioned he is considering putting a mask mandate in place even if Midland does not.
The City of Marfa also recently enacted a mask mandate, though they have very few cases.
MORE FROM NEWSWEST 9: