FORNEY, Texas — Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in public spaces in counties which have had 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions, according to a statement from the governor's office.

Additionally, Abbott issued a proclamation prohibiting any outdoor gathering, with few exceptions, in excess of 10 people unless the mayor of the city in which the gathering is held, or the county judge in the case of a gathering in an unincorporated area, approves of the gathering. This is a reduction from the previous executive order which prohibited outdoor gatherings in excess of 100 people.

Both are effective 12:01 a.m. on July 3, 2020.

"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,” read a statement from Abbott in announcing the orders earlier today. “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 groups gatherings will strengthen Texas’ ability to corral this virus and keep Texans safe," Abbott continued. "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," he stated. "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 proclamation

According to Executive Order GA-29, "Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distance from another person not in the same household."

Those not required to wear a face coverings are:

  • any persons younger than 10 years of age;
  • any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
  • any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
  • any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
  • any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personalcare service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
  • any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
  • any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poli watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
  • any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
  • any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or
  • any person in a county (a) that meets the requisite criteria promulgated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, and (b) whose county judge has affirmatively opted-out of this face-covering requirement by filing with TDEM the required face-covering attestation form—provided, however, that wearing a face covering is highly recommended, and every county is strongly encouraged to follow these face-covering standards.

"Not excepted from this face-covering requirement is any person attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people and who is not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from other people not in the same household," states the order.

First violations of the order will be a warning and second violations of the order will be a fine not to exceed $250, according to Abbott. The order prohibits law enforcement from detaining, arresting, or confining persons in violation of the order but, however, provides authority to enforce trespassing laws for violators of the order at the request of a business establishment or other property owner.

See below for GA-28, GA-29, and proclamation amending mass gatherings in GA-28.

Texas EO-GA-28 Targeted Res... by inForney.com on Scribd

EO GA 29 Texans Use of Face Coverings During COVID 19 by inForney.com on Scribd

DISASTER Proclamation Amending GA 28 Mass Gatherings by inForney.com on Scribd