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Texas Governor issues statewide mask order to fight COVID-19

wearing a mask
Posted at 3:43 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 16:46:26-04

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered that face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state.

The move announced Thursday is a dramatic ramp up of the Republican governor's efforts to control spiking numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Abbott had pushed Texas' aggressive reopening of the state economy in May.

He previously said the government could not order individuals to wear masks. His previous orders had undercut early efforts by local governments to enforce mask requirements.

Thursday's order requires "all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive" coronavirus cases.

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