Texarkana, TX: The Join Operations Center for Bowie and Cass County Texas has issued information and links related to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order today regarding face coverings. Lisa Thompson, Public Information Officer for Texarkana, released the following summary of the information contained in the order:
The Executive order requires all Texans, effective tomorrow at 12:01 p.m. to wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.
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 distancing from another person not in the same household; provided, however, that this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:
1. any person younger than 10 years of age;
2. any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
3. any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
4. 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;
5. any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
6. 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 personal care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
7. any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
8. any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face-covering is strongly encouraged;
9. any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face-covering is strongly encouraged;
10. any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or
11. 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.
The Executive Order may be found online at Governor Abbott Face-Covering Executive Order. Bowie County currently has 295 cases confirmed. Unfortunately, an additional death has been added to the count bringing the total number of deaths in Bowie County related to COVID-19 to 18.
The order will go into effect on July 3, 2020 at 12:01 p.m. There is several exceptions for the order including children under ten years of age and those with medical conditions or disabilities preventing the use of face-coverings. It is not yet clear if the order applies to those considered “out of state” such as Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana residents traveling or working in Texas.