Tarrant County to require use of face masks in all county businesses

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley announced June 25 that face masks must be worn in all county businesses. (Community Impact staff)
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley announced June 25 that face masks must be worn in all county businesses. (Community Impact staff)

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley announced June 25 that face masks must be worn in all county businesses. (Community Impact staff)

After county health officials confirmed more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 on June 24, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said "it was time to act."

Whitley announced June 25 that wearing a face mask will be required in all Tarrant County businesses. A countywide executive order will go into effect at 6 p.m. June 26 and will remain in effect through 6 a.m. Aug. 3.

The order will also apply to outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more, Whitley said.

“Our goal is not to throw people in jail or write citations,” he said. “It’s to get as many folks as we can to start wearing masks.”

Whitley equated the new face mask requirement to laws mandating seat belt use or prohibiting smoking in public, which were primarily initiated to protect other people, he said.


With the new face mask requirement, the county is asking residents to be “considerate and respectful” to hopefully slow the spread of the virus, Whitley said.

Across the state, Texas health officials confirmed a record-high 5,551 new COVID-19 cases June 24, which Gov. Greg Abbott described as a “massive outbreak.” At the county level, there are more than 37,000 confirmed cases in North Texas, including more than 18,000 cases in Dallas County and more than 9,800 confirmed cases in Tarrant County.

“This is one step on the path to hopefully not putting in further restrictions,” Whitley said. “We feel like we can stop the spike we’ve seen over the last several days.”

According to the executive order, all Tarrant County businesses that provide goods or services must implement a “Health and Safety Policy” that, at minimum, requires all employees and customers to wear face coverings. Businesses that do not comply with the order within five business days may be fined up to $1,000.

“Our goal ... is to hopefully get voluntary compliance,” Whitley said. “We want people wearing masks.”

In addition, the executive order allows city entities within Tarrant County to establish their own ordinances requiring face masks. This gives cities within the county a tool “by which they can react” if residents are fighting mask use, Whitley said.

“It’s not comfortable, and it’s not cool [to wear a mask], but COVID-19 is not comfortable and not cool,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “Do it for someone you love.”
By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


MOST RECENT

Restaurants, bars and some other businesses in North Texas will face a familiar slate of heightened restrictions after the region exceeded Gov. Greg Abbott’s threshold for COVID-19 hospitalizations. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 causes bar closures and more DFW news

Read business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Dec. 4 is last day for Keller voters to cast early ballots in the mayoral runoff election. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dec. 4 is last day for Keller voters to cast early ballots in the mayoral runoff election

Dec. 4 is the last day for voters in the city of Keller to join more than 13,000 Tarrant County voters who have voted early in Dec. 8 runoff elections.

The city of Fort Worth is expected to purchase a new City Hall property by the end of the year. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
City of Fort Worth plans purchase of future City Hall property

According to a Dec. 2 city news release, the city is “conducting its due diligence” on the former Pier 1 headquarters located at 100 Energy Way, Fort Worth.

Restaurants, bars and some other businesses in North Texas will face a familiar slate of heightened restrictions after the region exceeded the Gov. Greg Abbott’s threshold for COVID-19 hospitalizations. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Bar closures, tighter business restrictions triggered in North Texas by COVID-19 hospitalizations

Restaurants, bars and many other businesses will face heightened restrictions after North Texas exceeded the governor’s threshold for COVID-19 hospitalizations.

To avoid the crowded race routes of past years, NISD will let participants run the Reindeer Romp anywhere they want through Dec. 12. (Courtesy Northwest ISD)
COVID-19 precautions create new challenges for Northwest ISD's annual Reindeer Romp

Participants will not be able to run together, but they will still get medals.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

The Center Stage development was initially approved in January, with a detailed plan brought before Keller City Council on Dec. 1. (Courtesy city of Keller)
Center Stage project passes development hurdle in Keller

Keller City Council approved Phase I of the plan for the mixed-use development along Hwy. 377.

Fort Worth City Council has extended the city's face coverings mandate until March 2, 2021. (Courtesy Pexels)
City of Fort Worth extends COVID-19 mask mandate

Fort Worth City Council voted unanimously Dec. 1 to extend the city’s COVID-19 mandate for face coverings until March 2, 2021.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

As of Nov. 30, patients confirmed to have COVID-19 filled 16.1% of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E, which includes Collin, Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties among others. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
North Texas hovers above key COVID-19 hospitalization threshold as further restrictions loom

North Texas businesses could face additional restrictions—including the closure of some bars—if area hospitals do not see a reversal in the number of COVID-19 patients within a matter of days.

With online shopping expected to increase this year, officials warn that scams are also expected to be more prevalent. (Courtesy of Pexels)
FBI shares safety tips against online scams

Ahead of a busy online shopping season, the FBI reminds customers of potential frauds and scams.

Events such as the Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot will be held over multiple days to allow social distancing. (Courtesy the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth)
A laser light show with free hot cocoa and more holiday events in Keller, Roanoke and Northeast Fort Worth

Families will be able to participate in events that use a variety of COVID-19 safety precautions.