McAllen, Edinburg announce masks now optional at city facilities

Following an order from Gov. Greg Abbott preventing cities and other local jurisdictions to require the use of face masks, the cities of McAllen and Edinburg announced masks would no longer be required in their facilities.

McAllen announced Thursday that members of the public and most city employees would no longer be required to wear face masks as of Friday at 11:59 p.m.

Facilities where masks will no longer be mandated include McAllen city hall, the public library, McAllen Development Center, the  McAllen police department, the municipal court, the McAllen Public Works Recycling Center, Lark Community Center, Las Palmas Community Center, Palmview Community Center, and the Performing Arts Center.

However, masks will still be required at the McAllen International Airport, McAllen’s Central Bus Station and on all Metro McAllen city busses because of a federal emergency amendment issued by the Transportation Security Administration that requires that masks continue to be worn at airport facilities, on commercial aircraft and on various modes of surface transportation such as intercity busses on all forms of public transportation through Sept. 13, 2021.

On Tuesday, the city of Edinburg also announced that masks are now voluntary in their facilities.

City Manager Ron Garza said the city intended to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which last week said people who were fully vaccinated did not need to wear masks outdoors and in most indoor situations. 

“It is everybody’s right to take the protections that they choose to do, so if you want to wear them, please do so; take your protections,” Garza said. “If you don’t, we would no longer have the ability to enforce that and we would gladly comply to that.”