Town of Prosper lifts mask requirement for public places, courthouse the exception

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press
The mask mandate for the Town of Prosper was updated after the recent orders by Texas Governor Greg Abbott discontinued the state mask mandate.

The Town of Prosper has shifted the mask policy in public buildings after Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34 went into effect on March 10.  The order is clear that city, town, and county governments are not permitted to require masks.  In a staff meeting on March 10th, Mayor Ray Smith and staff agreed that Prosper town employees will still be required to wear masks at this time.  

The exception in the case of public buildings is the courthouse.  The Texas Supreme Court ruled that masks are required for all court proceedings and business.  Because this is not a property that is staffed by Prosper employees and is not under the jurisdiction of the Town of Prosper, Texas courts have the ability to make this requirement. 

Additionally, all private businesses and organizations may choose to require masks or leave that choice to the patron. Businesses may require that their staff continue to wear masks while working.  Signs stating if masks are required, encouraged, or optional will be posted in most businesses.  All residents are allowed to wear masks if they choose to do so.

Mayor Ray Smith said, “We recommend strongly that Prosper residents wear their masks and get their vaccinations.  We have always followed the mandates from the Texas Governor, as well as what is recommended by Collin or Denton Counties.  I still wear my mask and I have gotten both of my shots.”

“Because of the Order, we can not require that people wear masks,” Smith said.  “I think it is a unique situation.  We can not predict the future, but we can follow the orders and guidelines from the Governor and from the counties.”

“Our core value in Prosper is safety,” Smith said. “We spend a lot of money on police and firefighters.  We, as both employees and elected officials of Prosper, will continue to wear our masks and be good examples to the population.  We wear those all the time when we are out, and we feel like the masks are helping Prosper stay healthy.  There are a lot of ways to stay safe, and the masks are part of that process.” 

Vaccinations continue to be offered in both Collin and Denton counties.  The staff at Prosper library and Prosper fire department can assist residents in signing up on the list for vaccinations. Prosper ISD is working to get all teachers vaccinated. 

“The positive side we are seeing now is that the hospitalizations are going down,” Smith said. “I think everything is helping with this.  People are wearing masks, social distancing, getting their vaccinations, and being cautious.  I think the people of Prosper have been responding so well to all of this, and I feel like we are moving in a positive direction.”