Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has extended the county’s face mask order, which requires all businesses within the county to require employees and customers to wear face coverings. The previous order, issued on June 19th, was set to expire on August 26th.
Harris County’s extended order does not set an explicit expiration date. Instead, Hidalgo extended the order to last until fourteen days after the expiration of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 disaster declaration. Governor Abbott initially issued a disaster proclamation on March 13th, and issued a statewide executive order in early July that requires Texans to wear face coverings in public spaces in counties where there are 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases.
Harris County businesses must continue to require their staff or customers over the age of ten to wear face coverings and must have a health and safety policy clearly posted. Businesses that are not in compliance with the order could face up to $1,000 fines per violation, though in-keeping with GA-26, individuals will not be subject to a fine for not wearing one. Social distancing, hand-washing, and self-isolation are all still encouraged to mitigate community spread of COVID-19.