Texas Mandates Masks In Public For Most Counties With COVID-19 Cases

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Texas Mandates Masks In Public For Most Counties With COVID-19 Cases
Gov. Greg Abbott also encouraged people to stay home and practice social distancing when they're out.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made wearing masks in public mandatory in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases. 

He made the announcement Thursday because of a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the state. 

"One of the best ways to keep businesses open while also slowing the spread is for everyone to wear a face covering like this when they go out," Abbott said.

He also encouraged people to stay home, work from home if they can and practice social distancing when not at home. 

Kids under 10 and people with certain medical conditions or disabilities are exempt from the order. Anyone else caught not wearing a mask could be fined up to $250 per violation. First-time violators will be given a warning. Abbott mentioned no one will be put in jail for violating the order, and masks are also not required during certain activities, like exercising and voting. 

"If we want to avoid lockdowns, if we want to protect those we care about, we need all Texans to join this effort."

The governor also issued a proclamation that gives mayors and county judges the power to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.