Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed a new order today mandating that everyone over the age of 10 wear a face covering when outside their home. This order will be in effect at 12:01AM on Monday, April 27, 2020 and will continue until May 26, 2020 at 11:59PM.
Understanding the Order
When leaving your home and when in public places all persons over the age of ten (10) must wear some form of face covering that covers the nose and mouth.
- Public places include pharmacies, grocery stores, public transit, or work areas where it is difficult to maintain the recommended 6 feet of social distance.
- Face coverings may be a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, as long as it covers the nose and mouth (see link below on how to make your own).
Exceptions to Mandatory Face Covering
You must wear a face covering at all times, except:
- When eating or drinking;
- When you are exercising or doing physical activities outdoors;
- When you are alone in a single space, indoors or outdoors;
- When you are at home with other family members who live with you; or,
- When wearing a face covering poses a mental, physical, safety or security risk (i.e. someone who has trouble breathing).
Choosing and Wearing a Face Covering
Harris County cannot provide face coverings to residents. We encourage residents to purchase or make a face covering to wear.
When choosing a face covering, we encourage residents NOT to use medical or N-95 masks so they remain available for health care providers and first responders.
The CDC provides instructions on how to make different types of cloth face covering from items in your home: cdc.gov/
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
When wearing a face covering, it is also important to:
- Avoid touching your nose or face, or readjusting mask often
- Do not using disposable masks more than three times; and
- Wash reusable cloth masks regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.
Continue Good Health Habits
Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing because these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.
Failure to wear a mandatory face covering under this Order is punishable by up to $1,000.