HOUSTON – A mandatory face mask order issued by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo went into effect on Monday.
The order requires businesses that offer goods and services to ensure all its visitors and employees are wearing masks.
We asked KPRC 2 readers what questions they had about Hidalgo’s latest order. Here they are with what we were able to find out.
How do we report a business that is not complying?
Harris County officials say you can report a business that you think is not in compliance with the mask order to this number: (832) 839-6941
Do you have to wear a face mask at church?
Harris County officials recommend employees, volunteers and attendees wear cloth face masks while attending faith and worship services. If available, they should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks. But there is no requirement.
Are face masks required while working out indoors at gyms?
Because gyms offer a commercial service, it’s assumed you would have to wear a mask while exercising.
Will masks be required to vote?
The Harris County Clerk issued this statement to KPRC 2 about wearing masks at polling locations:
“Our office is highly encouraging voters to wear masks, but will not turn them away if they do not. We will have extra masks at the polling locations, we will have a sanitation station, finger coverings, and are taking safety precautions to keep voting equipment sanitized.”
Does the mask order affect venue rental businesses that host private parties?
Venues are commercial properties. According to the executive order, all commercial entities in Harris County providing goods or services directly to the public must develop, post, and implement a health and safety policy. Workers and customers have to wear face masks.
Failure to do so may result in a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.
How does this ruling impact outdoor activities such as walking your dog in the park or being at the pool?
Face coverings do not need to be worn when exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside.
Do you have to wear a mask while driving?
Face coverings don’t have to be worn while driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver.
Is the mask order in effect when you are at an outside seating area of a bar or restaurant?
Face coverings do not need to be worn when consuming food or drink but restaurants do have to maintain social distancing and occupancy percentages.
What if you have a mental condition that prevents you from wearing a mask?
Face coverings do not need to be worn when it poses a greater mental or physical health risk, per the order.
Read the full Harris County mask order below: