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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order on Thursday requiring residents to wear masks in public in every county in the state that has 20 or more cases of COVID-19. His dictate also limits gatherings to 10 people or less.
What are the details?
Gov. Abbott’s office released a press release declaring that his mandate requires “all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.”
The notice continued, “The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.”
The Republican issued a statement explaining, “Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19.” He added, “If Texans commit to wearing face coverings in public spaces and follow the best health and safety practices, we can both slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep Texas open for business.”
The Texas Tribune reported that kids younger than 10 years old are exempt from the order, and so are “people who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, people who are eating or drinking and people who are exercising outdoors.”
The order goes into effect at 12:01 p.m. on Friday, and violators could face up to $250 in fines.
According to KHOU-TV, Abbott resisted issuing a mask mandate for weeks, “but as cases and hospitalization have continued to rise, the governor has taken small steps to try to stop the spread.”
The outlet noted that on Wednesday, Texas recorded more than 8,000 single-day coronavirus cases for the first time.