City and county leaders announced they will continue requiring residents wear masks when entering a city or county facility.

The El Paso County Stay Safe Order No. 16 and City of El Paso Seventh Local Emergency Directive share similar language mandating masks when setting foot in a city or county building. The city’s directive extends to the airport and Sun Metro vehicles.

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"Wearing a mask is a small inconvenience that is no different than wearing a seatbelt,” County Judge Ricardo Samaniego stated in a news release.

We must each do our part to save as many lives as we can. Public health measures are being relaxed too soon before El Paso can reach community immunity. We cannot afford to see another spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Mayor Leeser echoed the county judge’s concerns in a city press release announcing its updated directive.

Our goal is to keep our community safe, and to ensure that we maintain a low hospitalization rate, by encouraging all our citizens to continue to follow the precautionary measures that have worked for us thus far – washing your hands often, practicing social-distancing and wearing a face mask. The City of El Paso will adhere to the Governor’s directive. That said, we will continue to require staff and visitors to wear face masks at City-owned facilities, on airport grounds and in Sun Metro vehicles. We will be measured and responsible to ensure the safety of the staff and the public who use our services.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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