Texas governor mandates wearing of face masks
July 3, 2020 11:15 am
Mr Abbott had initially resisted a state-wide mask order. [Source: BBC]
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order that all Texans don face coverings in public in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases.
Texas has seen a surge of hospital admissions in recent days, hitting a record high of more than 8,000 virus cases in a single day on Wednesday.
“Wearing a face covering will help us to keep Texas open for business,” Mr Abbott said, announcing the order.
After an initial warning, those who refuse will face a fine up to $250.
Texas was at the forefront of states loosening lockdown measures that were meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Mr Abbott allowed his initial stay home order to lapse on 30 April, with almost all businesses operating to at least 50% capacity by early June.
But as the virus surged, Mr Abbott began to walk back his state’s reopening last week, ordering all bars shut and cutting restaurant capacity from 75-50%.