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With multiple Texas cities now mandating the use of masks for all employees and customers of business, as well as residents in public places, Killeen is considering following suit.

Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra said Monday he is in favor of requiring people to wear masks in public, adding that he has proposed the requirements be county-wide.

“I probably think it is a good idea, I am more in favor of doing it (requiring masks),” Segarra said. “If it doesn’t happen county-wide, I would be in favor of it happening in Killeen since we are the biggest city in the county.”

Segarra had a video meeting with county officials at 11:30 a.m. Monday, where he suggested implementing new mask regulations for the county as a whole.

“Whatever preventative measures we can take to help prevent the spread (of the coronavirus) I think is a good thing,” Segarra said.

Segarra said County Judge David Blackburn planned to contact businesses within the county for their opinions on implementing mask regulations. According to Segarra, Blackburn would issue the regulations Tuesday, should he elect to do so.

“If he does not make the decision, I am going to go ahead and do it for the city on Wednesday,” Segarra said.

If mask-wearing regulations are put in place either at the county or city level, Segarra said, they would have to take a close look at how the measures could be enforced. He said that one possibility would be imposing fines on businesses or individuals that don’t follow the regulations, but said multiple options would be looked at.

When asked last week if masks would be required in Bell County businesses, Blackburn said he was reviewing the matter in light of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent comments.

Abbott has been relatively hands-off when it comes to imposing mask regulations, saying local officials have multiple tools at their disposal to help stymie the spread of the coronavirus. Abbott continues to urge Texans to wear masks, though he has not implemented any specific regulations requiring the wearing of masks.

One Texas city that recently imposed a mask-wearing requirement is Waco. Mayor Kyle Deaver issued a proclamation Friday night ordering all businesses within the city to require employees and customers to wear face masks or face coverings. The order when into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

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