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Today, Thursday, June 25, 2020, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley announced an executive order requiring the wearing of masks in most public situations, which will go into effect Friday, June 26, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. This order comes after Gov. Abbot’s Monday, June 22, 2020 address that COVID-19 was spreading at “an unacceptable rate” in Texas.
Tarrant County Public Health has recorded 9,846 positive cases. The past two weeks have seen a 52% increase in cases, a 67% increase in hospitalizations, and a 14% increase in deaths.
"We believe that masks are our best alternative at this time," Whitley said, emphasizing that he does not want to return to the restrictions instituted in March.
What is required of businesses?Any commercial entity in the county that provides goods or services directly to the public must develop a "health and safety policy" that includes requiring anyone inside their facility to wear a face-covering when in close proximity to other people. Businesses may add other measures to their policy, in addition to masks, such as temperature checks or health screenings, and their policy must be posted “in a conspicuous location” so that it’s visible to the public. The county order also includes an example policy that businesses may use.𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝? The order urges anyone 10 years or older to wear a face-covering that covers their nose and mouth anywhere in public where it is difficult to keep six feet of separation. It requires that masks be worn in Tarrant County businesses that provide goods or services to the public, as well as outdoor areas where 100 people or more are present. Please note: The CDC does not recommend face coverings for children under 2 years old.When is it not required to wear a mask?• When eating or drinking• When receiving a service where the wearing of a face covering would impair the performance of the service (i.e. receiving a facial)• If wearing a mask poses a “significant mental or physical health risk” to the individualCan businesses be fined for not wearing a mask?Businesses can be fined up to $1,000 for each violation of the order if they do not "develop and implement" a health and safety policy within five days of when the order goes into effect. The order goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020, so businesses must have their policies in place by Wednesday, July 1, 2020.How long does the order last?The order is in effect until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020.
Please note that it may be extended, modified, or ended early by Judge Whitley.
To review the order and its requirements, please visit https://www.tarrantcounty.com/content/dam/main/global/Covid-19/TarrantCountyJudgeExecutiveOrder6-25-20.pdf.