The county has seen a 10% decrease in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 since July, according to Vinny Taneja, director of Tarrant County Public Health. The downward trend indicates that the face mask mandate is working, Taneja said.
“We want people wearing masks,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said. “This is an inconvenience that can help us get past this.”
First established June 25, the Tarrant County mandate requires businesses in the county to implement a “Health and Safety Policy” that, at minimum, requires all employees and customers to wear face coverings.
“Our goal ... is to hopefully get voluntary compliance,” Whitley said in June.
The county order also 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.
The county order coincides with a July 2 declaration by Gov. Greg Abbott. Both mandates require the use of face masks in public buildings, businesses and outdoor areas where social distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible.
There have been more than 600,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including more than 11,000 deaths since March.
As of Aug. 25, Tarrant County has confirmed 40,331 cases of COVID-19 in the county, including 519 deaths and 32,670 patients who have recovered.
“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.