HARRIS COUNTY - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has signed an order that mandates all businesses must require the wearing of protective masks by customers and employees. It takes effect Monday, June 22.
Hidalgo says the order only pertains to people above the age of 10.
During a press briefing, Hidalgo explained the same exceptions as before exist with wearing masks. People exercising, driving alone, pumping gas or eating won't be required to wear face masks.
Hidalgo pointed out that wearing face coverings is not a replacement for social distancing.
She also explained that her new order is good for business. Hidalgo said businesses who did not require masks had a competitive advantage over businesses that required customers to wear masks.
"This is not a time for grandstanding or scoring political points," Hidalgo said to many people who criticized the county's previous stay home order.
When it comes to enforcement of this new order, Hidalgo said, "We are not a police state. Every order is about education. That's why we need everyone to work together as a community."
Businesses can be fined $1,000 per violation, according to the order signed by Hidalgo. Customers cannot be fined for violating this mask order.
This order will be in effect until June 30.