Facing an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the state, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday requiring all Texans to wear a face covering in public.
The state has seen more than 175K cases of COVID-19 and more than 2,518 deaths. Abbott said in a news release that wearing a face covering in public is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another—and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces,” Abbott said.
People in public must wear a facial covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases with few exceptions, the release stated.
Those violating the order will first receive the warning and then be fined $250 if they violate it a second time, according to the governor.
“We all have a responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe,” Abbott said. “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. I urge all Texans to wear a face covering in public, not just for their own health, but for the health of their families, friends, and for all our fellow Texans.”
Abbott 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.
“Large gatherings are a clear contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Restricting the size of groups gatherings will strengthen Texas’ ability to corral this virus and keep Texans safe,” Abbott said.