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Gov. Abbott issues statewide face covering mandate amid surge of COVID-19 cases

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On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order for a statewide face covering requirement in public spaces. The requirement is for Texas counties with 20 or more positive coronavirus cases.

Anyone over the age of 10 years will be required to cover their nose and mouth while out in public.

Voters at polling locations are not required to wear a mask, but are highly encouraged.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, a proclamation was also issued to allow mayors and county judges in the state to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people. Any outdoor gathering exceeding groups of more than 10 people are required to stay six feet apart from each party.

“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,” said Gov. Abbott stated in the news release. “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.”

The statewide rule will go into effect at 12:01 p.m. Friday.

Anyone who doesn’t comply will not face jail time. However, the governor says the order will be enforced. The first violation will come with a warning, but each subsequent will result in a fine up to $250.

View the full order detailing rules and exemptions here.

Watch the video above for further details.

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