AUSTIN, Texas – H-E-B customers living in Travis and Hays counties will be required to wear masks when shopping inside stores.

What You Need To Know

  • Municipalities can direct businesses to require face masks

  • Coronavirus cases in the state are on the rise

  • H-E-B following health ordinances from local governments

The CDC is recommending the use of face coverings in spaces where at least six feet of space between individuals cannot be guaranteed as a way to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Since the virus doesn’t manifest symptoms in most people, someone could have it without being aware.

It’s estimated that face masks can reduce the spread of the virus by as much as 80 percent. Cloth face masks work by helping limit the number of germs that can spread from one person to others. Typically, they offer the most protection not to the wearer, but the people around them.  

Gov. Greg Abbott last week said that while local governments cannot mandate citizens wear masks, stores and restaurants can. He said municipalities can direct those businesses to require the use of masks.

Following that announcement, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the city would direct businesses to come up with plans that would allow them to enforce mask coverings for all customers and staff.

On June 17, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra issued an order requiring face masks for anyone aged 10 or older.

Beginning in late March, H-E-B put restrictions on store hours, limited purchasing quantities of certain items, and required customers to wear masks. Then in June, hours at many store locations returned to normal.

But in April, H-E-B announced it would be following all locally issued orders regarding health and safety plans, including mask requirements for customers.

Since both Travis and Hays counties now have orders requiring masks, local H-E-B stores will follow suit.

This comes at a time when COVID-19 cases across the state and the nation are skyrocketing. According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, as of Monday morning there were over 100,000 cases reported in the state.