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No, City of Coppell employees will not be required to wear a mask or similar facial covering. The City continues to encourage employees to wear a mask, practice social distancing and follow other safety measures.
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After examining the current environment and statistics regarding new cases, hospitalizations, and immunizations, the Coppell City Council decided to lift the mask mandate in City facilities. According to data from Dallas County, approximately 61% of residents in the 75019 zip code have received a COVID-19 vaccination. While this data includes residents of Cypress Waters, which is located in the City of Dallas, Coppell’s central location has allowed many residents to receive vaccinations from neighboring counties.
In addition to residential vaccination information, the Council considered City of Coppell employee vaccination data when making their decision. According to City Manager Mike Land, approximately 71% of City staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Further, the CDC has released guidance indicating that it is safe for fully vaccinated people to go without a mask both indoors and outside. In a White House briefing, the director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, stated that "anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities -- large or small -- without wearing a mask or physical distancing."
The City continues to encourage visitors to be respectful of other patrons. Stringent cleaning procedures and processes to encourage social distancing remain in place at city facilities. Many facilities have been retrofitted with protective barriers to decrease direct contact, and the City has invested in UV air purification technology at Town Center, Coppell Arts Center, and the Service Center. The City will continue to offer virtual and contactless programs, and many services are available online.
GA-34 did eliminate the statewide facial covering mandate. However, nothing in the Governor’s order prohibits businesses or “other establishments” (including government entities) from requiring employees or customers to wear a facial covering, including a mask. According to the City Attorney, the Governor’s order did not remove the City’s ability to set operational policies and procedures in its facilities, parks, buildings and grounds.
The mandate was enacted via a policy revision and was not passed via ordinance or a resolution. Per the City’s Home Rule Charter, Council has the authority to direct the City Manager or a designee to enact policy changes without taking a vote. Council reached majority consensus on the issue and provided City staff with policy direction.
No, an agenda item to discuss the current environment and statistics regarding new cases, hospitalizations, and immunizations was placed on every agenda for a City Council meeting since the facial covering mandate was instated in mid-March. At the May 11, 2021 public meeting, the Council determined that it was safe to lift the mandate based on the trend in Dallas County. During this meeting, Council came to a majority consensus and directed City staff to enact the policy change to require masks in City facilities. View the recording of the meeting.