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Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order which requires everyone in Texas to wear face coverings publicly in counties with more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases.

This Executive Order includes Potter and Randall counties in Amarillo. The details of the order are outlined below.  * Note- there will be fines issued for violations of this Executive Order.

 

The order applies to all commercial entities, buildings and spaces open to the public, including outdoors, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from those outside your household.

The exceptions to his order include:

- Children under 10 years old
- Anyone with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
- Eating or drinking, or seated in a restaurant to eat or drink
- Exercising or engaging in physical activity outdoors (as long as distance is maintained)
- Driving alone or with passengers from the same household
- Obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening or a need for specific access to the face (i.e. visiting a bank or obtaining a personal care service involving the face), but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal
- While in a swimming pool, lake or similar body of water
- Voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher or actively administering an election (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
- Actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
- Giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience

 

Not excepted from the requirement are those attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people who are not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from people outside their household.

Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time violation, the order includes a fine of up to $250 for subsequent violations.

“Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another—and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces. Likewise, large gatherings are a clear contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Restricting the size of group’s gatherings will strengthen Texas’ ability to corral this virus and keep Texans safe. We all have a responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe. 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. 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 also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on outdoor gatherings larger than 10 people.

The entire Press release can be found here.