Alice City Council members came together Wednesday, April 29, after not meeting the quorum on Tuesday to vote on a recommendation to wear facial masks in public and extending the city’s Declaration for Emergency.

The city voted and passed both agenda items.

The Governor’s order supersedes the city to mandate a fine or penalty, so the recommendation is a social responsibility to wear masks in public. City leaders voted on the recommendation from information gathered by doctors and scientists to help address all the many unknowns still linked to the coronavirus.

"I know we want to just jump back into the swing of things but it is still too soon. I am encouraged by us as a community keeping our numbers down by the social distancing, and I do frequent businesses where people are not wearing masks and I feel uncomfortable, but that’s just me- because I have older folks I am around," said Councilman Robert Molina.

Dr. Erik Nisimblat, MD addressed city council on his recommendation for wearing facial masks in public and spoke on the morbidity of the cornoavirus.

"The news is only covering the mortality not the morbidity of the virus. Doctors do not know how an a-systematic person or systematic person with the virus can be effected in one year, two years or ten years after contacting the virus," said Dr. Nisimblat.

"The masks protects others, we are protecting our elderly residents with this recommendation and showing responsibility as city leaders along with the caring for others and it is the right thing to do," said Mayor Jolene Vanover.

The City tested 184 residents during a two day mobile testing side. Gov. Greg Abbott is mandating one-percent of the population to be tested.

As of today, Thursday April 29, the results for the 184 tests have not been released to the Emergency Management Team.

"There will be four additional dates for testing in the near future one in Premont, one in Orange Grove and two in Alice," said Alice Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Thomas.

The city will be aligning with Gov. Greg Abbotts phase one in slowly re-opening the economy. Starting this weekend restaurants, malls, theaters, and retail stores will begin opening for business with restrictions.

The city’s listed phase one businesses can open from 25 to 50 percent of occupancy until further notice on the testing results.