As Burnet businesses get ready to open later this week under the new guidelines set forth by Gov. Greg Abbott, the city is providing them with equipment to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

While some non-essential businesses can reopen starting May 1, the threat of virus transmission has not passed. 

To protect the community at large from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the city of Burnet is providing free non-contact forehead thermometers and face masks to businesses within the city limits of Burnet.

“We’re also reaching out to some of the local daycares right now and also possibly looking at reaching out to some of the local churches if we have enough to make thermometers and face masks available to those businesses to help reduce the spread,” said Burnet City Manager David Vaughn.

On April 27, Gov. Abbott rolled out a plan to allow some non-essential businesses — restaurants, retail, malls, and movie theaters — previously closed or limited due to the threat of COVID-19 to reopen Friday with restrictions on the number of customers. This first phase doesn’t include hair and nail salons, barbershops, and gyms. If things go well during Phase 1, the governor could allow these businesses to open later in May with certain restrictions.

While the extra level of protection is not required by the state, Vaughn said the additional precautions could prevent businesses from getting shut down altogether should a positive case emerge among staff.

“We’re going to start doing this at City Hall, even though we don’t have the public coming in, because the last thing I need is to shut down City Hall for two weeks,” he said. “And my wife doesn’t want me home for two weeks, I can tell you that.”

Businesses interested in the free masks and thermometers are asked to contact Vaughn at 830-798-3974 or dvaughn@cityofburnet.com.

For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the DailyTrib.com coronavirus resources webpage.

alex@thepicayune.com

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