Cameron County commissioners approve new mask mandate, vaccine incentive

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — The Cameron County Commissioners Court voted to introduce a mask mandate on County property for all employees and visitors.

This comes as Dallas and Bexar counties both sued Governor Greg Abbott to be allowed to implement their own mask mandates.

On August 10, a district judge granted San Antonio and Bexar counties a temporary restraining order against Governor Abbott’s executive order, which allows the city and county to implement a mask mandate.

Cameron County will not be going that same route as of yet.

After a closed session meeting with the legal counsel, Cameron County Commissioners Court voted to approve a mask requirement for employees and visitors to county property. The county used what some have called a legal loophole to issue the order, citing their responsibility as an employer to keep their employees safe.

“This is all under Texas labor code 411.103,” said David Garza, the Cameron County Precinct 3 Commissioner.

The labor code Cameron County is citing to issue their mask mandate. From https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/texas/tx-codes/texas_labor_code_411-103

Cameron County Commissioners also approved a $50 incentive for teens who get the vaccine.

“We’re trying to incentivize and encourage parents to make sure their children age 12 to 17 school aged children go and get vaccinated immediately through the end of September,” said Eddie Trevino, the Cameron County judge.

Teens 12-15 have only been eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccine since May 10, and have the lowest percentage of any age group fully vaccinated as a result.

The Commissioners Court said the move was in everyone’s best interest.

“Since they are returning to school, both for themselves, for their teachers, for all school staff, that everybody is protected and vaccinated,” said Trevino.

These new health measures come as hospitals are starting to see hospitalization numbers we haven’t seen since the Winter surge.

“Right now, we’re in the low 500s,” said Dr. James Castillo, the Cameron County health authority.

With schools beginning to reopen across the state, the increase in new hospitalizations might not have peaked yet.

“So, we’re approaching that winter peak, but it keeps going up, our numbers keep going up,” said Castillo.

Judge Treviño said that the vaccine incentive would begin immediately, but did not say when the mask mandate would take effect.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Stories