Texas Gov. issues mandate for every county with more than 20 COVID-19 cases to wear a face mask in public after more than 91 counties hit record-high numbers in the past three days
- On Thursday Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide mandate requiring all people to wear face masks in public in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases
- The mandate takes effect Friday and violators will face $250 fine
- It’s a dramatic reversal for Abbott who previously banned local governments from penalizing people who didn’t wear face masks in public
- He also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people
- He revealed over 91 counties have hit record-high numbers in past three days
- ‘ COVID-19 is not going away. In fact, it’s getting worse,’ he said
Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a statewide mandate requiring Texans to wear face masks in public in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases, as the state reels from a startling surge in cases after reopening.
On Thursday Abbott issued the mandate, which goes into effect Friday, stressing that he wants to keep businesses open but Texans have to do their ‘part to protect one another’.
Those who violate the face mask ordinance will be issued a first time warning. After a second violation there will be a fine of up to $250. Abbott said that no one will be jailed for not wearing a face mask.
It’s a dramatic reversal for Abbott who had been outspoken about reopening the state and previously banned local governments from penalizing people who didn’t wear masks in public.
On Thursday Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide mandate requiring all people to wear face masks in public in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases
This graph shows how the number of daily new coronavirus cases in Texas has soared in June
This graph shows how the positivity rate of coronavirus cases over a seven day period in June has surpassed the previous peak in April
He warned that the spikes in cases aren’t limited to just big cities saying, ‘more than 91 counties have hit record-high numbers in just the past three days.’
‘COVID-19 is not going away. In fact, it’s getting worse.’
‘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,’ he said in a video message shared on social media.
Abbott also urged people to stay home if they can and avoid large groups.
‘Likewise, 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,’ he said.
Cezi Buntyn and Zeke Salazar give job search information to people on the sidewalk outside the Workforce Solutions Borderplex North Loop Center on Thursday in El Paso, Texas as coronavirus cases in the state rise
Melissa Flores hands out diapers during a drive through food pantry distribution by Catholic Charities during the coronavirus pandemic in Dallas on Thursday
A service technician wears a protective suit as he uses an electrostatic gun to clean Villaggio del Vino in Tyler, Texas amid worries over a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state
He announced he issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people and mandating that people must keep a social distance of six feet.
He also urged his constituents to stay home when possible, but stressed that his announcement is not a ‘stay-at-home order’.
On Wednesday alone Texas reported 8,076 new cases of coronavirus. As of Thursday the total number of infections throughout the Lone Star state stood at 175,977 and the number of fatalities at 2,525.
Texas isn’t the only state reeling from a startling surge in cases.
In Florida on Thursday 10,108 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, marking a new single-day record for the state. Florida now has 169,106 cases and 3,617 deaths.
Thursday is the 25th consecutive day that the state has set a record high in its seven-day rolling average.
‘I think it’s pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said.