Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order July 2 requiring Texans to wear a face covering in counties with more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases. (Screenshot via Gov. Greg Abbott YouTube video)

Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order July 2 requiring Texans to wear a face covering in counties with more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases. (Screenshot via Gov. Greg Abbott YouTube video)

Ahead of a weekend of potential Fourth of July festivities, Gov. Greg Abbott is ordering all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces.

"More than 91 counties have had record high numbers in the past three days. COVID-19 is not going away," Abbott said in a video announcement explaining his July 2 executive order. "In fact, it is getting worse."

The governor cited the state's rising positive testing rates, from 4.5% in May to over 14% in June, as well as the tripling of hospitalizations.

The rule applies to residents of counties with more than 20 positive cases of the virus. The governor also issued a proclamation granting mayors and county judges authority to limit outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory for people to avoid groups larger than 10 and maintain six feet of social distancing from others.

The order stipulates that Texans must wear a face covering "when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing."


The order has some exceptions, including children under 10 years old, anyone exercising outdoors or swimming, anyone with a medical condition preventing it, anyone driving alone or needing to show their face to confirm identification. Anyone voting or working a polling location is urged but not required to wear a mask as well, as are those attending or performing religious services.

“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," Abbott said. "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.”

The governor said the rule would be enforced on the same level as seatbelt laws, starting with a warning and escalating up to a $250 fine for successive violations.

"No one can ever be put in jail for violating this safe practice," he said. "We just need everyone to do their part to slow the spread."

In June, mayors for nine of the largest cities in the state called on the governor to allow them flexibility in requiring face coverings, and several counties adopted rules requiring masks in public facilities and businesses.
By Matt Dulin
Matt joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2018 and is the City Editor for Houston's Inner Loop editions.


MOST RECENT

The Allen Houston
The Allen high-rise project marks construction milestones

The four-level, 62,000-square-foot pavilion is scheduled be ready for tenant move-in by the first quarter of 2021, while the high-rise is expected in 2023.

Houston City Council passed a tax rate Oct. 21 of $0.56184 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2020-21, a 1.07% reduction from the previous year’s tax rate of $0.56792 per $100 valuation. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston approves lower tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21 amid calls for further reductions

The rate may still result in an increase for some taxpayers with the average homestead property value rising about 4%.

Target has built out its new store at 2075 Westheimer Road, Houston. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Target to open fourth Inner Loop location and more Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Baylor College of Medicine is seeking volunteers for a COVID-19 study looking to determine the prevalence of the viral disease in the Houston area. (Courtesy Baylor College of Medicine)
Baylor College of Medicine recruiting participants for COVID-19 prevalence study

The study will collect samples from 70,000 individuals nationwide.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region in 2017. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Houston hydrologist explains climate change’s role in intensified flooding, importance of planning for future storms

“We’re looking at more intense and more frequent storms, and so, as a region, we’re going to need to think about that when we’re planning. We need to plan for that worst-case climate change [scenario].”

Some Harris County residents could be eligible for free workforce training. (Courtesy Lone Star College System)
Harris County partners with Lone Star College to offer free workforce training this fall

Furloughed, unemployed and underemployed Harris County residents could be eligible for one of 17 training programs.

Compass Houston
Compass opens permanent Houston office, announces plans for Heights, Woodlands, Memorial

The relative newcomer to the Houston market is currently ranked No. 1 for active listing dollar volume.

The Sporting Club Houston
The Sporting Club brings the outdoors in with retractable roof on Washington Avenue

The lounge and restaurant features a 2,400-square-foot retractable roof.

Lanier Middle School
Houston ISD: 17 campuses close with confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19

The district's is reporting 90 total cases, including 10 cases among students, as of Oct. 20.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Greater Houston region faces glut of industrial, commercial space and multifamily housing

While the Greater Houston area has seen a glut of office space for the last six years, Patrick Jankowski said the industrial buildup has happened more in the past year and a half.

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project proposes rerouting I-45 through the East End and Fifth Ward and expanding it through the Northside. (Nathan Colbert/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston-Galveston Area Council seeking feedback on I-45 project plans

Regional leaders are accepting feedback on which projects to fund alongside the I-45 overhaul.

Houston police
Houston will spend $4.1 million from CARES Act to rein in rising crime rate

Violent crime is up 11% in the city of Houston and there are six hot spots throughout the city that are seeing the most violent crime numbers.