Tarrant & Dallas County Require Masks in Businesses
We took a short drive through Mansfield on Sunday to get out of the house. Parking lots of restaurants and stores were packed, but few were wearing masks. As Texas experiences a massive spike in COVID-19, Tarrant County has seen a 52% increase in positive cases in Tarrant County over the past two weeks.
Judge Whitley and other local officials want to avoid a “shutdown” like the restrictions in March, so he believes masks are the “best alternative at this time”.
Today, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley announced a countywide executive order making face masks mandatory. The order will go into effect at 6 p.m. Friday. It will be in effect through 6 a.m. Aug. 3 and also applies to outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more.
Tarrant County’s mask order requires employees and visitors to wear a mask when inside a business or as mentioned above outside with more than 100 people. Businesses who fail to comply could face a fine of up to $1,000.
Whitley’s Executive Order also addresses social distancing protocols. Even when using a face covering, the order says whenever possible a distance of six feet should be maintained. The distancing applies to employees and customers. If a customer refuses to wear a face covering, the business should ask them to leave and refuse to provide services/goods.
Also, today, Tarrant County reported 517 new COVID-19 cases. That’s the highest one day total for any North Texas county to date.
Dallas County passed a mask ordinance last week, with a 3-2 vote. Ellis County Judge Little says he believes businesses are smart enough to make decisions as to what’s best for their customers. It’s his opinion that orders from a County Judge requiring masks is government overreach.