COVID-19 masks are now mandatory in Fort Worth and Tarrant County
TO UPDATE: On August 25, the Tarrant County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to extend the county’s disaster statement and face mask mandate to November 30. It was due to expire on August 31st.
TO UPDATE: On Friday, July 31st, Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley extended the Tarrant County mask order to August 31st. It was supposed to expire on August 3rd. Read the order of the judge here.
With the number of positive coronavirus cases rising, Fort Worth and Tarrant Counties officials made masks mandatory from June 26.
In a news conference on June 25, Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley cited the increasing number of positive cases and a 57 percent increase in hospital admissions, saying there is consensus among health professionals, hospitals and businesses that that masks are required were the way to go.
“In order not to have to go back to the March restrictions and not have to close stores, we believe masks is a necessary step,” said Whitley. “I’m going to sign an order today that will take effect tomorrow at 6:00 pm. Any company or company that provides services to the public requires all employees and visitors to wear masks.”
The order runs until August 3rd. It states that “everyone over 10 years of age including employees, customers, visitors, invitees and contractors (” patrons “) who enter a company must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth such as a homemade mask, scarf, headscarf or a handkerchief. “
A mask is not required if wearing a mask presents “a significant psychological or physical health risk to the individual”. The requirement also does not apply if you consume food or drink or receive a service where wearing a mask would affect the performance of the service.
In addition, according to the regulations of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and pending the July 4th holidays, Tarrant County’s ordinance will limit outdoor gatherings to no more than 100 people.
Whitley said he was consulting with people from the Tarrant County Medical Society and Mayor Betsy Price who also spoke at the conference.
“We have spoken regularly and with hospitals and companies,” said Whitley. “And they ask, ‘Please place this order so I can say if someone comes into my house I’m sorry, but you have to wear a mask when you come in.'”
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said wearing masks is no longer an option at this point, given the increase in positive cases and the very real possibility that hospitals will be overrun.
“Do we want to? No, but we have to,” said Williams.
“We also need to know that people are hurt,” he said. “They’re losing their businesses, losing their jobs, losing their loved ones. Let’s not have the rhetoric of revolt against masks. We have to get together and say, hey, for my neighbors, for my family, for me, I need to get this mask We have to get our lives back and fight the virus and do it the Tarrant County’s way, by coming together. “
“It might not be the most convenient, it might be inconvenient, but think about the results. It gets rid of this virus,” Williams said.