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'Masks over citations’: Mayor Turner announces plans to distribute 200,000 face masks to public

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the city’s plans Thursday to help distribute more than 200,000 face masks to members of vulnerable communities during his daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.

Turner started the conference with the current amount of coronavirus cases. He reported 71 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday, bringing the city total to 3,046. Turner said this is the fourth consecutive day that Houston has had no COVID-19 deaths, keeping the total to 34.

RELATED: 6 things to know about the new Harris County mask order

Masks distribution

Turner launched a mask distribution campaign and well-known Houstonians will act as ambassadors — including Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa, Rapper Slim Thug, Olympian Simon Biles among others — to encourage residents to wear them.

Turner said instead of police officers giving out citations for non-compliance, the city will have them give out masks or face coverings.

“Masks over citations. We don’t give citations. We give masks,” Turner said. “If we run into someone without one, we will give them a mask.”

About 1,000 churches pledged a goal to produce 1 million masks to hand out in vulnerable and low-income communities, the mayor said.

READ ALSO: Free mask distribution: This is where you can get a free mask, gloves in Houston

The city’s efforts were announced after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued an order Wednesday for all residents to wear a face mask/covering for while out in public for 30 days starting Monday.

Houston transit protecting community

METRO Houston announced Park and Ride services were reduced to half, to keep riders and drivers safe. METRO officials said it is enforcing social distancing on buses to help protect everyone. Officials said they are looking to provide masks for those riding the bus and also encourage riders to make or wear their own masks or coverings while riding the bus.

Watch the mayor’s full press conference below:

WATCH LIVE: Mayor Sylvester Turner makes an announcement about giving away 700,000 masks to vulnerable communities. MORE: https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/04/23/watch-live-mayor-turner-to-announce-plans-to-distribute-70000-face-masks-to-public/

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, April 23, 2020

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